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Ben Lomond Mountain
The 2017 Bald Mountain Chardonnay has a rich golden yellow core with a touch of green and yellow reflections on the rim. The wine was aged in 20% new French oak that accentuates the striking minerality of Bald Mountain without overpowering the terroir. The nose is gently perfumed with notes of white flowers, honeysuckle, yellow apple, meyer lemon, stirred lees, raw hazelnut, a touch of oyster shells and wet white rocks. The palate is medium-medium light in body, with a touch of oak and refreshing acidity which frames the wine perfectly. On the palate the wine has flavors similar to the nose with notes of crunchy asian pear, lime pith, lemon blossoms, yellow apples, wet stones and a saline accent on the finish. 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.
Vintage started Labor Day weekend amidst the most severe heat spike in my memory. Harvest started roughly one hour before dawn and lasted hours past dusk. I was able call on a farmer friend whom I have known since childhood to line up extra pickers. Over Labor Day weekend we had a picking crew of 65 men and women. We picked 84 bins of Pinot Noir over two days which is something I did not think was possible. My commitment to crafting a specific kind of wine forced me to pull in the crop fast to avoid potential damage to the fruit. Many vineyards were destroyed by the heat. On that weekend the winery transformed from quiet to chaotic like a bomb went off. The temperatures on the crush pad sustained 110 degrees for roughly 3 full days. It was beyond miserable when you take into account we had to work at a sprinting pace the whole time to bring in the fruit and we had no cover from the sky, just our sun hats and t-shirts. The following week we moved in on Chardonnay. The heat spike did no favors for the Chardonnay either. The brix (percentage of fermentable sugar - 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution) quickly rose from 19 brix to 22 brix in one week which I have never experienced. Our intention is to make a fresh, acidic, and mineral driven wine so we had to move swiftly on this harvest too. Our press ran 12 hours a day for several days to complete the juicing of the Chardonnay.
341 cases produced