2013 Carneros Grace Benoist Ranch Chardonnay
California: Napa Valley: Carneros
Recently, we featured the fabulous 2012 Etude Chardonnay. That wine, which proved very popular with our Operatives (we sold out), was the winery’s base model or entry level Chardonnay.
Today, we are very pleased to offer you their flagship Chardonnay, the Etude Wines 2013 Carneros Grace Benoist Ranch Chardonnay. This Chardonnay hails from the winery’s most precious Chardonnay estate vineyard, the Grace Benoist Ranch.
Grapes here are treated to the rare soils, perfect climate and skilled care that only this site and this winemaking team can provide.
White Burgundy meets California on the fragrant nose of this beauty. Aromas of white peach, pear, nectarine and lemon meld with oh, so subtle aromas of light oak, sweet cedar, slate and softest white spice.
As lovely as the nose is, it is on the palate where this wine really reveals itself. While aromas are somewhat gentle, flavors abound, with bold Meyer lemon, softly spiced cedar, yellow peach, slate mineral, quince, lychee, dried apricot and soft white spice.
Some of our favorite California Chardonnay comes from the Carneros viticultural area, a wine growing region which straddles the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The Carneros region ranks as one of the Wine Spies’ top choices for California Chardonnay.
So, too, does Etude Wines.
The cool Carneros region provides ideal growing conditions for the Burgundian varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both of which thrive here.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
91 points - Wilfred Wong - “For decades, the industry has hailed Carneros as one of the best places to grow Chardonnay in California. From my notes, I have been both excited and disappointed with Chards from this region. Fortunately the 2013 Etude Grace Benoist Ranch does come through as an excellent wine. Showing plenty of stone fruit and bright minerality, this wine sails through the palate with fine and long-lasting crispness.”
90 points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous - “The 2013 Chardonnay Estate is all about brightness and energy. Citrus and floral notes abound in a steely, crisp Chardonnay. The blocked malo style preserves freshness and adds to the wine’s considerable appeal. Drink through 2018.”
Medium golden color with brilliant core-to-edge clarity.
White peach, pear, nectarine and lemon meld with oh, so subtle aromas of light oak, sweet cedar, slate and softest white spice.
Meyer lemon, softly spiced cedar, yellow peach, slate mineral, quince, lychee, dried apricot and soft white spice.
Ultra long, crisp and refreshing, with plush tannins that lock bold flavors onto the palate for a very long time. As the fruits fade, white spice, mineral and citrus hang on forever.
This wine is so good on its own that we’ll keep plenty on hand for springtime solo sipping. When it comes time to pair with a meal, we recommend a lightly seared sea bass or tuna steak. Or even a pesto and sun dried tomato chicken.
What the Winery Says
- Jon Priest
- Carneros, Napa Valley
- Neutral French oak