2016 Highland Chardonnay
Chardonnay, the most popular white wine varietal. A noble grape, originally from Burgundy, now with its world-class reputation firmly established in the best coastal regions of the New World.
The Santa Lucia Highlands - Monterey Bay’s cool ocean breezes lead to gentle ripening in the foothills above the Salinas Valley. Perfect conditions for growing award-winning Chardonnay.
With each vintage of Highland Chardonnay, we showcase the unique attributes of our Double L Vineyard and the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The 2016 cuvee includes 30% fruit from the Double L and the balance from outstanding neighboring estates in the SLH, including McIntyre and Tondre. The Double L Vineyard has been “Certified Organic” since 2002 but has been conscientiously farmed in this method since the original plantings in 1997.
The spring and summer were mild with no extreme cold or hot periods, but mildew control was a challenge. Happily, no rain in the fall resulted in clean fruit, and harvest started on September 16th, 2016.
The grapes were hand picked and sorted in the vineyard. Whole cluster pressing preserved the fruit flavors and natural acidity. We barrel fermented the wine in 26% new French oak along with a combination of one and two year old and neutral barrels. Partial malo-lactic fermentation ensured the wine has a creamy richness, balanced by bright fruit acidity.
This focused, elegant Chardonnay’s aromas feature Meyer lemon, honeysuckle, and apricot. On the palate, the rich fruit flavors are complemented by a light touch of pineapple and nilla wafer. Incredibly food-friendly, the 2016 Highland Chardonnay is a perfect match for cream-sauced pastas, roast chicken and pork, and seafood.
A History of Acclaim
- 91 Points - Wine Spectator, March 2018
- 90 Points - California Grapevine, April 2018
- 93 Points - Anthony Dias Blue
- 91 Points - California Grapevine
- 90 Points - Vinous
- 90 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
- 90 Points - Robert Parker
- 90 Points - Connoisseur’s Guide
- 90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
2014 vintage: 93 Points - Wine Enthusiast / Editors' Choice
2013 vintage: 90 Points - International Wine Review, Wine Review Online, and Vinous
2012 vintage: 91 Points - The Tasting Panel
2011 vintage: 92 Points - The Wine Advocate
2010 vintage: 91 Points - California Grapevine
2009 vintage: 88 Points - California Grapevine
2008 vintage: 92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
2007 vintage: 91 Points - International Wine Review
2006 vintage: 91 Points - Wine Enthusiast