Foxen 2016 Chardonnay "Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU", Santa Maria Valley
Foxen 2016 Chardonnay "Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU", Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara Co., California
Farming: Organic / Sustainable
Few things are more classic than California Chardonnay. Modern California producers tend to shy away from the style of brand new barrel-fermentation, making steely Chardonnays that can be very beautiful but tend to emulate a cool climate like France’s Chablis rather than the sun-kissed paradise of Central Coast California. Foxen, however, is still very Classic California. Founded by Dick Doré and Bill Wathen in 1985, Foxen has long been recognized as one of the Central Coast’s pioneering wineries for always being miles ahead of the industry. From day one their mission was: 1) sustainability in the vineyards; 2) single vineyard-focused wines; 3) make the world realize how great Santa Barbara Wine country is. In fact, Santa Barbara wine did become internationally famous when The Foxen tasting room was featured in the film Sideways (it is the site of Paul Giamatti’s infamous meltdown!).
Bien Nacido is arguably one of the most famous vineyards in the country, treated like a nursery for many top winemakers to purchase from. It is so large that it is carved up into many smaller designated blocks. Block UU is a gently sloped parcel within the famous Bien Nacido vineyard; its 25- to 40-year-old vines can produce a concentrated wine, with rich citrus and orchard fruit notes.
Because of the generally cooler temperatures here, the Santa Maria Valley has one of the longest growing seasons in the state. This makes it a great candidate for producing wines that are more influenced by oak, as the natural acidity of the grapes and the natural ripeness can stand up to the vanilla and baking spice characteristics from new oak barrels. Foxen barrel ferments this wine but halts malolactic fermentation to preserve the bright acidity on the palate. This is a Chardonnay that is rich, generous and thirst-quenching all at the same time– a hard balance to strike.
Roasted Chicken. Grilled Salmon. Buttery pasta. This baby has some weight! Make sure you match it with your dinner!