The 2012 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay is sourced from vineyards in the Santa Barbara County AVA on the southern end of California’s Central Coast AVA. Santa Barbara is about 1 1/2 hours north of Los Angeles in Southern California, but it gets cooling fog in the morning and while the days can be hot, the Pacific ocean winds bring a chill to the night. Santa Barbara County excels at cool weather grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, just like coastal AVA’s much farther north. The Naked in the name refers to this Chardonnay seeing zero oak barrel manipulation, it is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, so you get the natural taste of the grapes without much wine-maker manipulation. Which is especially welcome in an excellent vintage like 2012, where the quality of the grapes were top-notch. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is a golden wheat yellow. The nose is not shy, the aromas leap out of the glass, grapefruit, pineapple, apple, pear, lemon, lime, its like a walk thru a farmers market. This is a medium bodied Chardonnay, it has a good weight to the mouth-feel. It starts with lemon, lime, tart grapefruit, unsweetened pineapple juice and tart apple. The mid-palate adds a slap from the acidity (this will pair well with seafood and spicy Asian), Bosc pear and kiwi. The Naked Chardonnay favors the tart, citrus side of things, but the solid body and structure keeps things in balance. The finish is strong and lasts a while.
The Four Vines Naked Chardonnay 2012, when chilled, but not too chilled, makes a terrific, refreshing summer cooler. The abundance of citrus allows this Chard to be an adult version of fancy lemonade, it will go down easy on a warm summer night. The acidity and structure allow the Naked Chardonnay to be a versatile food wine. Going to a local BYOB but can’t decide on which one? Grab a bottle of Naked Chardonnay, as long as you are not hitting a Steakhouse or a Rib joint, this Chard should do the trick.
this bottle was received as a sample