Thursday, January 14, 2016

[Noble Vines] 446 San Bernabe, Monterey Chardonnay, 2013

As a terroirist, I am a sucker for this wine. Noble Vines, the producer, deserves a place only in brackets; the grapes made the wine. As the label explains, 446 stands for Vine Type 4 planted in Block 46. Vine Type 4 is "renowned for its northern California heritage" and the San Bernabe appellation is in cool-climate Monterey. The wine sells for $8 to $10 at Costco and other locations.

I bought [Noble Vines] 446 Chardonnay and like it, although I feel hard pressed to really pinpoint how this wine differs from many other California Chardonnays. It is medium deep in color, as it should be for a wine of this age. It has smells and flavors of citrus, apple (and, as the label suggests, pineapple and tropical fruits. These seem less apparent to me than the the citrus and apple). Fresh and focused. Good body with legs that cling to the glass, but not as fat and buttery as your typical New World Chardonnay (from 20 years ago). Restrained oak, refreshing acidity and a well focused finish. For $8, what more could you expect?

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