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Chardonnay, 2012. Casarena 505

Chardonnay, 2012. Casarena 505

Item #: V0214W2IA
Vintage: 2012
Varietal: Chardonnay
Vineyard/Appellation: Casarena, Argentina
Color: Very pale
Nose: Fresh apple
Palate: Slight with a hint of spice
Finish: Apple and vanilla
Rating: 94
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Drink now through 2015

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Casarena (translated as "Sand House") Winery & Vineyards is named after the earth-toned stucco exterior of the winery located on Brandsen Street, in the heart of Perdriel district in the Luj?n de Cuyo region of Argentina located right next to the Mendoza River. Approximately 20 minutes away from downtown Mendoza, this viticulture project began in 2007 after the rebuilding of a century-old family winery.

The old building, where Casarena stands, was fully renovated for the operation of a state-of-the-art winery, which combines the best of traditional processes with the latest technological innovations. At the moment, it has a capacity of 70,000 gallons in concrete tanks coated with epoxy and equipped with a heating and cooling system, which help prevent temperature changes during the fermentation process. The winery has also 20,000 gallons capacity in stainless steel tanks and a special room designed to hold 400 oak barrels with a controlled temperature and humidity system.

All the winemaking process is done with first class methods and supplies. It is a Bordeaux style fermentation process. Over the millennia, the river has left a light rocky, silt-y soil with abundant surface stones. These unique soil characteristics produce racy Chardonnays with an engaging fruit profile, lifted aromatics and stony minerality.

Head Winemaker, Bernardo Bonilla, was born in Maldonado, Uruguay. After High School, he studied Psychology but then a couple of years later, he finally decided to fulfill his dream of becoming a winemaker. Thus, he settled in Mendoza where he graduated in Oenology at the Don Bosco School. While studying, he worked at Bodegas Los Toneles and then began working for Catena Zapata winery. His last assignment at the Catena Zapata Group was to be the principal winemaker for Catena, one of the most revered wineries in Argentina. During this period, he specialized in the elaboration of sparkling wines. Today, Bernardo is responsible for every aspect associated with winemaking at Casarena Winery & Vineyards.

505 is the address number of the century old renovated Casarena Winery on Brandsen Street in the Distrito Perdriel. This exceptional value offers one of the best flavor profiles and drinkability we've seen yet. A fresh, ripe up front fruit profile is combined with varietal purity and elegance with an appropriate light oak aging for additional complexity. Would absolutely sing with seared scallops.

February Vintners Series Newsletter (.pdf)