Highland Estates - Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates2005 Chardonnay, Seco Highlands
One of a series of KJ’s mountain/hillside single-vineyard wines, and one of two Chardonnays, this one differs greatly from the Camelot Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley. The variance is chiefly due to the vineyard – which is the point of the exercise.
While the aforementioned Camelot is rich and sweet, this one from Monterey County further up the coast is intensely aromatic and reminiscent of Viognier and Gewürztraminer. But the wine is 100 percent Chardonnay. However, the clones used here – Rued and Dijon 76 – impart terpenes (aromas) that are found in Muscat and Gewurtz and Viognier. On the palate, however, the texture is rich and the wine is simply gorgeous. It’s brilliant with perfect balance. As a bonus, it will age for up to 10 years.
The Arroyo Seco Vineyard has elevations from 250 to 350 feet and the grapes are from the western slope on a bench that has soils of sandy loam and gravel. The wine was aged for eight months in French oak, 35 percent of which was new. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and there were less than 600 cases produced. (note: This wine can be purchased directly from the winery only)
Reviewed May 3, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Highland Estates - Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates
Winery: Highland Estates - Kendall Jackson Vineyard Estates
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.