Gilded Crown

The 6 years on this are seriously starting to show. Creaminess on the nose transfers straight onto the palate–dark sultry floral and fruit. The body is light and bright yellow, but the nose goes deep into hazelnut, bruised jasmine and almond-butter. A nice green vibrancy peeks in underneath, wet rocks and chamomile, and the dull thud of age give that superb aged-chardonnay feel below the India ink and wet fern.

I should note this has NOT been in my cellar its whole life. I have a small rack in the kitchen (72°-75°) I keep short-term experiments and cheaper fun bottles in for quick grabbing. This bottle came up from the cellar almost a year ago to drink and somehow got placed in this rack. I can’t help but think maybe an acceleration of aging is showing. This is not a criminal experiment–I actually think situations like this can be telling in a review for the consumer because only a tiny percent of drinkers have a controlled cellar: MOST either buy & drink or store for short periods in like conditions in common living space. So if anything, this bottle will tell you what to expect with *normal* storage.

In the mouth, that deep *yellow* shines through. Creamy and delicious, it has polished itself beautifully into an elegant, velvety example of slightly-aged Chard. Rich nutty fruit glances off still-acerbic backbone and distinct tannins still power through. Oh, your Burgundian varieties don’t have tannins? Well you’re drinking the wrong ones. Crisp and biting over the middle, thick briar over-powers generous melon and gooseberry spelling out CLEARLY: this wine has the chops to go WAY farther.

This wine starts out on release a exemplary rendition of the variety, and tasting it at this juncture solidifies that opinion. This vintage is still available on the website direct from the winery, and the value on that kind of perfect storage can not be over-stated.

2014 VELVET BEE Chardonnay Rita’s Crown VYD Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara Co. 14.45

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