The fruit from the low-yielding Bench Break Vineyard is hand-harvested from a small, distinct area of the family-owned Cambria estate. Sitting at the highest elevation on the western side of the property, this site speaks boldly of Santa Maria Valley’s ideal climate and vineyard conditions. Formed from alluvial deposits, Bench Break Vineyard’s soils are the shallowest on the estate—restricting vine vigor to promote the growth of fruit with concentrated flavors. The maritime influences that funnel in from the Pacific Ocean, cloak the Santa Maria Valley in mild temperatures, extending the vineyard’s growing season to provide ample time to balance the fruit’s acid profile and develop optimal flavors.
In the vineyard, the development of fruit laid the foundatio for flavor and quality and set the stage for our winemaking process. Cambria’s vineyard management techniques, such as leaf thinning, allowed more sunlight on the clusters for full, even ripening and evolution of concentrated flavors. Together, these techniques ensure maximum quality in the Bench Break Vineyard Chardonnay before beginning the winemaking process.
At harvest, grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed to capture the fresh flavors and minerality. Primary and secondary fermentation took place in Damy, French oak barrels from Alliers and Vosges forests to complement the intensity and structure of this site-driven fruit. Additionally, the wine was aged sur lies for ten months to deepen the texture and balance the mid-palate.
|Wine maker notes
|The 2014 Benchbreak Chardonnay opens with lively fruit and oak spice aromas. Citrus, pineapple, white peach and apple flavors carry through the mid-palate and into the fresh, clean finish.
Try the 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 creme.