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The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 is sourced from a single block (Block L) of the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard located inside the Santa Maria AVA which is part of the Santa Barbara AVA in California’s Central Coast AVA.
Bien Nacido Vineyard has been called one of the best 5 vineyards in California, the vineyard was planted in 1973, and Block L is part of the original plantings. The Chardonnay is so highly thought of that most of the Chardonnay vine stock in the last 20 years came from here. (They take a cutting from a vine and graft it onto rootstock from another plant).
Bob Lindquist is the winemaker, he recently celebrated his 40th anniversary in winemaking. He is one of the original Rhone Rangers, a group of Central Coast winemakers who made their wines along the style of the Rhone Valley in France. He is also known for Qupé wines.
Bob has been making Chardonnay in the Burgundian style since 1982, going as far as having the oak barrels made by one of the best cooperage (barrel-maker) in Burgundy, France.
The grapes are hand-picked and pressed with whole clusters (stems and all), the juice is barrel fermented, no stainless steel tanks are used, and full malolactic fermentation (changing the natural tart acid in the grapes to more rounded acid).
The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 was aged in French oak for nine months. With 25% new barrels, 25% barrels that had been used once before, 25% Barrels that had been used twice, and 25% barrels that were neutral meaning they had no more oak influence to give.
This is a drink-it-now wine not meant to be aged, the winemaker suggested drinking it by the end of 2025. But this wine is made in a bespoke style like expensive wine. The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 has more in common with a $60 than your typical value-priced wine, though I found it selling for $17 on sale. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is very clear, see-thru golden yellow. The nose is lemon curd, green apple, vanilla, melon, lime, peach, and mustard spice (faint and mild), along with a very floral edge. The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 has an excellent mouthfeel with a good depth of flavor.
This Chardonnay tastes like apple mixed with lime, pear, and melon, with rich vanilla. The mid-palate adds the salty/nutty “on-lees” sensation, oak spice, peach, and stone fruit. The acidity gives this Chardonnay excellent length.
- The Lindquist Family Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2020 is an affordable luxury.
- This Chardonnay is not the product of a focus group, it is what the grapes in Block L had to give this year.
- If you want to take a step up from the usual Chardonnay but don’t want to blow the budget, then seek out this wine.