The 2014 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard offers lots of citrus blossom and white flowers in a clean, crisp, medium to full-bodied style. Its acidity is beautifully integrated, it's impeccably balanced and a true gem in the vintage. This small, family run estate was created in 2003 by Rebecca and Tom Birdsall and Donald and Marueen Green. The wines have been made by Jeff Gaffner since 2005, and today they release four wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands, as well as a number of wines from the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley AVAs. I was only able to look at the Santa Lucia Highlands releases for this report. Looking at these wines, Jeff prefers a three- to five-day cold soak to get as much extraction without alcohol, and malolactic is always in barrel. All of the wines are destemmed and aging is in French oak, 50% being new on average. (JD)
Lightly buttered popcorn aromas are cut by lime blossoms, sea salt and jasmine on this delicate while extremely fragrant nose. A laser-like acidity slices through the palate, where pan-seared apple flavors are lifted by lemon pith, mandarin orange skins and orange blossoms. (MK)
Limpid gold. Aromas of candied citrus fruits, yellow apple, fig and white flowers are sharpened by a zesty mineral flourish. Juicy and tightly wound on entry and then more fleshy in the middle, offering intense orchard and pit fruit flavors and a bracingly bitter touch of quinine. Orange zest and ginger notes drive a long, silky finish that features a subtle touch of buttered toast. (JR)
*One Star* Given the more southern provenance of this wine and its mate immediately below, as compared to the Gap's Crown bottling, one could very well expect a fleshier, riper rendition, but, instead these wines have quite similar structures and balance. This one runs to the mineral and stones side of the spectrum at the slight expense of fruit at its heart, but its solidity and potential for better make it a wine ticketed to be enjoyed a few years hence.
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