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Ben Lomond Mountain
On the nose, We find the characteristics that have made Bald Mountain so coveted in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Then add secondary smells of apricot, nutmeg and orange peel which are contributed by the contact with the grape skins. On the palate, a higher concentrated version of the Bald Mountain Chardonnay that we are so familiar with some tannin and astringency from the skins, though not as much tannin as I had hoped for. Because of the early picking, the pallet is full of citrus peel which I love. Sharp acid on the wine puts the tannins in check and does not let them be dominate. The finish, the slight astringency caused by the grape skins leaves a gentle bitterness on the pallet similar to what you would find in Pinot Noir. Salinity being the dominate force, there are very slight smells of baking spices and oddly enough I smell Cacao nibs making this wine very unique. Drink now through 2023
Bald Mountain Vineyard, located in Bonny Doon, is owned and farmed by Beauregard Vineyards. 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.
Vinification: The grapes were hand harvested and then put through a destemming machine. The grapes were vinified the same way as a red wine. My intention was to to make a wine that would have a lot of grit from the skin contact. This method is mostly referred to as ‘Orange Wine’. I expected to have a stronger grittiness to this wine, however it turns out that Chardonnay will not give that characteristic the same way that other varieties such as Pinot Gris can. After 21 days of contact with the skins, the wine was pressed off and aged in French Oak barrels
2018 was textbook perfect for our vineyards with slow ripening caused by a cooler growing season. The yields were light but that led to higher quality wines (in most cases). The last time we had harvests this late was 2010 which I remember vividly. The big difference between 2010 and 2018 is that we had no rain to speak of during the 2018 ripening season. The diurnal temperature shifts were quite extreme with the nights dipping into the high 40’s and the days warming to an average 65. This slow ripening leads to more fruit development and better physiological ripening for the berries while preserving acidity. By better physiologically ripening, I mean that the skins of the berries are thicker, the seeds are darker, and the stems of the clusters become more lignified (brown rather than green). In my career, I can name a few perfect vintages; 2002, 2012, and 2018 come to mind. This vintage is remarkable and my team put in 110% effort to craft the best wines that can be made from our family estate. I have selected rare and unusual barrels constructed in France which will hone these wine gems while they mature into wines I will be proud to put my family’s name on.