Monday, May 8, 2023

Ode To Burgundy Or Tip Of Hat To Old Cali?

The grapes for the 2021 J. Lohr Arroyo Seco Chardonnay were sustainably grown in the gravelly soil of the Arroyo Seco AVA in Monterey County. J. Lohr's white wine specialist, Kristen Barnhisel says that most of the blend for this full varietal wine are Dijon clone 76 grapes. There are some of the Mt. Eden clone, which gives us the Meyer lemon notes. Clone 17 brings a creamy floral aspect while clones 95 and 96 have stone fruit in store.

Barnhisel says that "the 2021 growing season in the Arroyo Seco was characterized by the coolest spring and summer in a decade. The cool weather during the summer provided a slow and even ripening of the grapes, while the afternoon winds helped to keep the fruit healthy until harvest." The wine was fermented in oak and aged there as well, for 14 months. Nearly half of the French oak was new. Alcohol hits 14.5% abv and the retail price is $25.

The J. Lohr people call this wine their "Ode to Burgundy.," but I feel that this wine wants to be noticed. The pretty yellow juice offers up a nose of Meyer lemons, peaches and nectarines with a healthy dollop of oak present. The bouquet also contains a bit of vanilla and butter. The palate is loaded with oak effect, but the citrus and stone fruit still poke through. Acidity is refreshing, if just a tad flabby. It is an enjoyable wine, particularly if you have a fondness for the old Cali style of Chardonnay. 

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