The Cycles Gladiator Chardonnay 2013 is sourced from vineyards in the Arroyo Seco AVA (inside the Monterey AVA) and the Livermore Valley AVA (near the San Francisco Bay), both inside the Central Coast AVA of California. The Cycles Gladiator brand was started in 2005 by Hahn Family Wines, Hahn recently decided to overhaul their wine portfolio and sold Cycles to a new wine company, Wine Hooligans. Wine Hooligans brought back Cycles Gladiator’s first winemaker, Adam LaZarre, to bring the wine back to its original purpose, which is to showcase Central Coast grapes. This Chardonnay has an interesting oak program, 60% of the wine was aged in stainless steel vats (which allows the bright fresh fruit and citrus flavors to shine), 15% on new French oak, 5% in new American oak and the rest ,20%, in neutral oak (barrels that have been used at least 5 times). This is something of an intricate science project designed to impart a very precise level of flavor and structure. The alcohol content is 13.7%.
The color is a clear golden-yellow. The nose is a mix of lemon, apple ,melons and spring flowers. This is a dry, medium bodied Chardonnay, with firm, fleshy fruit flavors. It starts with apple, pear, along with lemon/lime. The mid-palate adds tart grapefruit, unsweetened pineapple and a little bit of cream, The finish is supple and long.
The Cycles Gladiator Chardonnay 2013 is a very solid Chardonnay, full flavored with a light touch of oak. This is a wine with enough body to pair well with a wide spectrum of foods, it will do well with creative salads and seafood and will work roasted pork or spicy Asian. The Cycles Gladiator is a solid, tasty, honest, well priced Chardonnay.