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2020 Etude Estate, “Grace Benoist Ranch” Vineyard, Carneros Chardonnay

Etude Winery was established in 1982 by founding winemaker, Tony Soter. He had set his sights on the cool-climate Carneros region to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay more in the style of France’s Burgundy region. There have only been two winemakers at Etude: Tony Soter and its current winemaker, John Priest.

The Grace Benoist Ranch was developed in 2000, after an 18-year journey to find the most suitable terroir for the estate vineyards. The individual vineyard blocks are only 8 acres in size. Small quantities of the individual blocks are available. They showcase the same purity of fruit and clarity of terroir as the Etude legacy reds.

This wine displays notes of yellow citrus, especially Meyer lemon and orange, plus some floral notes of roses and white flowers. Within are notes of apple, slivered almonds, and a hint of pear and vanilla. Well integrated oak notes flow with this mouth-filling, rich, concentrated wine. It is broad on the palate, and seems to say, “Welcome”. It would be a delightful companion to pork roast, veal, salmon, and other oily fish.

By Don Clemens

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