Cambria Benchmark Chardonnay
September 2016 Gold White Selection Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay 2014
Cambria is a family-owned, estate winery located in the heart of the famed Santa
Maria bench in Santa Barbara County. Bolstered by several decades of diligent
winemaking and vineyard experience, Cambria’s wines faithfully express the
unique stamp of one of the nest cool-climate crus in California.
Cambria estate Vineyards
This cool coastal vineyard consists of ancient fossilized seashells, shale, limestone and sand. This unique estate sits 400-800 feet above sea level on a
bench that overlooks Santa Maria Valley before plunging down to the Sisquoc River. The fog-swept vines have endured since the 1970s, thriving in the cool,
maritime infl¬uences that funnel in from the Pacific Ocean, and allow for the longest growing season in the state.
Since 2009, all the grapes from our Estate Vineyard have been certified sustainable under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s Certified California Sustainable Winegrower (CCSW) program. They have also been SIP
(Sustainable in Practice) Certified since 2011.
Winemaking and Viticulture
The 2014 vintage was near ideal yet again, characterized by a dry winter and a warmer than average spring & summer. While harvest began relatively early,
moderate temperatures and minimal rain allowed for exceptional grapes with ample ripeness, fl¬avor and texture.
Each of the 15 blocks of Chardonnay, planted in sand and granite soils, are farmed
on an individual basis. The expression from each block is wholly unique. The
resulting wine shows a Chardonnay with a spectrum of fruit ¬flavors ranging from
Mango to Meyer lemon and a rich texture framed by refreshing natural acidity.
Try this Benchbreak Chardonnay with crab and lobster, shrimp, fried calamari, and grilled salmon. It also pairs will with Cow’s milk cheeses such as mild cheddar, Comte, Gruyere, Brie and Camembert or triple crème.
“The 2014 Benchbreak Chardonnay opens with lively fruit and oak spice
aromas. Citrus, pineapple, white
peach and apple fl¬avors carry
through the mid-palate and into the fresh, clean finish.”
-Denise Shurtleff, Winemaker
Wine Enthusiast, 87 Points
A flinty smoke aroma greets the nose first on this well-priced bottling from the Jackson family, with roasted Marcona almond, toasted brioche and seared lemon also showing. A bright energy bolsters the palate, where Meyer lemon ripeness gains pencil shavings and chipped oak flavors in the mid-palate.