Chanin Wines is dedicated to sourcing fruit from sites in California’s Santa Barbera County to create wines whose qualities reflect the individual vineyards in which these grapes are grown. There are no bottlings from blended sites at Chanin. The focus is on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are very well suited to the cooler climate and diverse marine soils and long growing season that the region affords.
The wines are made by Gavin Chanin, whose father Tony had been involved in the establishment of the Zaca Mesa Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1978. Gavin began as a harvest intern aged 18 at Au Bon Climat and Qupe under the guidance of Jim Clendenen and Bob Lindquist, both of whom had also been founders of Zaca Mesa. After periods in South Africa and New Zealand, and extensive travels to the vineyards of France and Italy, Gavin launched Chanin Wines in 2007. The wines are made in the same facility as Au Bon Climat and Qupe where Gavin continued to work as assistant winemaker after 2009.
A key at Chanin is to source completely heathy fruit, ideally from low yielding old vines. The fruit is typically picked quite early to preserve acidy and freshness. The fruit quality and age of the vines allows for making wines that avoid excessive alcohol and make unnecessary any additives – such as commercial yeasts or enzymes - that would compromise the faithful expression of the vineyard’s characteristics. To this end the wines are not filtered.
Gavin graduated from UCLA in 2009 as an award-winning art student. On each label you will find a piece of his artwork.
Clean lines of lemon oil lemon verbena and the lightest of toasty wood make for a compellingly cohesive aromatic display on the nose of this bottling. The palate is wrapped in a tremendous grip with vibrant splashes of citrus oil zipping into flavors of macadamia nut and roasted peach finishing on crème brûlée. Yet all done with delicate strokes.
The 2019 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is slightly more reserved aromatically offering an impressive array of spiced orchard fruits intermixed with white flowers crushed stone brioche and honeysuckle-like nuances. Medium-bodied on the palate it has a bright spine of acidity lots of salinity good mid-palate depth and just terrific overall balance as well as length.
The 2019 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict emerges from Block T15 one of the original parcels planted in 1971. It is a bright focused jewel of a wine. Crushed rocks mint white pepper and lemon peel all race out of the glass. The 2019 is a bundle of energy. Give it a few years to come together. -- Antonio Gall