Fresh, Vibrant, and Fun Coastal Chardonnay

Today’s Story: Lady of the Sunshine

Lady of the Sunshine was established in 2017 by Gina Hildebrand with a focus on Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir sourced from organic and biodynamic vineyards in California’s Central Coast. Gina grew an appreciation and passion for wine growing up thanks to spending a lot of time at her family’s winery Narrow Gate Vineyards, though it also helped her discover the importance of biodynamic farming which her family also practices. With Lady of the Sunshine, Gina sources fruit from organically farmed vineyards at a minimum and, since early 2018, personally farms Chêne Vineyard and transitioned it to biodynamics with Demeter certification earlier this year.

When it comes to winemaking itself, Gina crafts fun wines meant to emphasize the terroir and her farming practices through minimal intervention in the cellar. All of the Lady of the Sunshine wines are fermented with native yeasts and see minimal sulfur additions in neutral oak. The wines are stirred from the lees only once for bottling, with all bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Chêne Vineyard Chardonnay

100% Chardonnay; 12% ABV

The 2018 Chêne Vineyard Chardonnay is transparent medium to deep gold in color. Given some time to open up in the glass, the wine showcases aromas of lemon citrus, crisp golden apple, stone fruit, white lily, brioche, flint rock, and saline mineral. Moving to the palate, I get notes of green apple, slightly underripe pear, baked pineapple, lime zest, olive oil, sea salt, and lightly toasted hazelnut and almond. This is medium- to full-bodied with vibrant high acidity, a plush and somewhat oily mouthfeel, and a long finish.

Price: $34. I think this is very fairly priced and it’s a very fun, clean, vibrant Central Coast Chardonnay. I really like how the low alcohol and minimal intervention winemaking makes this a true representation of the terroir and transports you to the coast.

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