2016 Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery, Chardonnay, Estate Grown, Carmel Valley.
Winemaker Greg Vita’s brilliant 2016 Holman Ranch Estate Grown Chardonnay is wonderfully sleek, steely and crisp with clear green apple, lemon/citrus, apricot and orange blossom in a medium bodied wine that should be enjoyed young. Having recently moved back to the Carmel area, it’s been awesome seeing the passion in the winemakers and quality of my hometown’s wines, finally it looks like the region is being taken seriously. Holman Ranch has put a lot of effort in recent years to raise their game and get these vines up to speed and as they age they are beginning to show some good potential and longtime Carmel Valley veteran winemaker Vita is very excited about where they are going saying he thinks after the 2014 vintage things have turned the corner, the ex-Spring Mountain man who consults for many wineries in the state also has made Galante since the beginning, a Carmel Valley favorite, and knows Carmel Valley’s unique growing conditions well. Vita is confident that Pinot Noir will end up being Carmel Valley’s star red in the long term future, which you can see in Albatross Ridge and Pelio Vineyard (another vineyard that Greg Vita consults for) that has been successful in Figge and Pelerin offerings. Holman Ranch and their up scale Jarman label just had a release party in Carmel Valley and they showed off some very nice wines, especially their new stainless steel whole cluster Rose of Pinot Noir which sells for about $26 (90 Points) and this lovely and stony Estate Chardonnay that was fermented in stainless steel and raised in neutral French cask for just a few months to preserve it’s refreshing vibrancy and mineral character. There is subtle honeysuckle, clove, saline, wet chalk, white fig and light tropical notes that adds complexity, but it’s brisk lively dryness that gives this Chardonnay it’s charm and pleasure, this is impressive stuff to drink right away.
($27 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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