2016 Chardonnay Bald Mountain 'Oeuf en Béton'
Ben Lomond Mountain
September 20th, 2016
This is Beauregard’s new Concrete Egg project produced using all Bald Mountain Chardonnay. The wine spent just under 1 years on lees in the concrete egg before being bottled and only 77 cases were produced. It was harvested earlier than what most California producers find appropriate but at the ripeness and racy acidity in which our Chardonnays have become acclaimed for. Native fermentation clicked along for an extend 3 months until going bone dry inside the concrete tank. Why the concrete egg tank? MINERALITY. Chardonnay's most interesting characteristic in the Santa Cruz Mountains is the minerality. Unlike aging in stainless steel, the egg will impart no flavor on the wine, and, will micro-oxygenate the wine similarly to a barrel but without any flavors of oak. The purity of fruit and terroir will be striking. The nose is perfumed with notes of white flowers, green apple, and lemon zest. The palate is round, soft and creamy. On the palate the wine has flavors similar to the nose with wet stones and oyster shells on the finish that remind you that this vineyard sits on the edge of the pacific ocean. This wine will get better and better with time and I firmly believe this wine should be rested for at least 2-3 more years for it to really hit its stride. The wine is delicious now, but the best side of this wine will emerge with a bit of time.If consuming this wine in its youth, please decant for at least an hour and serve at or just below cellar temperature (50-55F) in a large Burgundy stem, please not too cold or the wine’s personality will be lost.
Bald Mountain Vineyard, located in Bonny Doon, is owned and farmed by Jim Beauregard. Planted in 1990, the 40 acre vineyard sits at an elevation of 920 to 1050 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with the rare white sandy Zayante soil to produces wines with minerality and striking acidity.
Here is what makes me excited about the wine from this project: simply put it is the purity of the wine. To expand upon this, there is no influence of; oak, micro-oxygenation (concentrating due to evaporation through the barrel), residual stainless steel flavors, etc. What you get with this wine is; pure Chardonnay, pure Bonny Doon, pure terroir. It is the best expression of sense of place I have ever experienced in a wine. - Ryan Beauregard