A good share of Byron winemaking takes place in the vineyard, where winemaker Jonathan Nagy selects individual rows and blocks for their potential to express both variety and site—focusing particularly on clones that best exemplify Byron's balanced, textural and site-expressive style. Originally planted in 1964, Nielson is the site of Santa Barbara's first commercial vineyard, and has been Byron's estate vineyard for over 30 years. This historic, cool-climate, benchland vineyard serves as a model for Santa Barbara's viticultural experimentation and sustainable farming methods. This Chardonnay was aged for 10 months in 80% new French oak, and only 5 barrels were produced!
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Nielson Vineyard is laced with scents of apricot, tangerine oil, white flowers and mint. Brisk acids give this mid-weight, nuanced Chardonnay a good bit of character. A hint of reduction on the finish works nicely here."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Brioche, honeysuckle, white flowers, and ample buttered stone fruit notes all emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Nielson Vineyard, a rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied Chardonnay with some obvious oak, lots of texture, good balance, and a clean finish. It's terrific today yet should keep for 4-5 years."