From six special acres in the heart of the Grace Benoist Ranch, our estate Chardonnay is a beautiful example of everything Carneros has to offer. Lively, fresh, and vibrant, this Chardonnay is truly exemplary of elegance and grace, crafted intentionally to showcase the expressive fruit and terroir, so there is no malolactic fermentation, and a delicate touch of oak. Lifted floral notes of honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, and vanilla, waft from the fragrant bouquet, while flavors of zesty, fresh-cut apple, honeydew melon, Bartlett pair, and graham cracker pie crust, intermingle on the palate. Luscious and creamy in texture, with a stony minerality, and pleasing freshness, a signature from Grace Benoist Ranch, demonstrates a lovely, mouth-watering backbone of crisp acidity. The finish is clean and long, delighting the palate, and inviting sip after sip.
The 2021 season was joyous and welcomed after the challenges of previous vintages, producing exceptionally high-quality fruit, some of the best in recent years. Rain early in the year led to almost no notable precipitation for the rest of the season, providing an ideal environment for grapes to flower, bloom, and set in early spring, with budbreak early in April, followed by flowering and bloom in May. The summer saw early and even ripening throughout the valley, with veraison appearing in early July. Low yields (in part due to drought conditions), created fruit that is intensely flavored and smaller in berry size. One of the earliest starts, harvest began with white wine grapes coming in towards late July, while red wine grapes arrived about a month later, at the end of August. With optimal ripening and taste, our winemakers took their time bringing grapes in, crafting wines of fantastic character, with amazing color extraction, aromatic intensity, tremendous balance, and structure, that are equally lush and fruity. A tremendous year to taste the nuances and terroir distinction from around the valley.