Joe Wagner, a fifth-generation winemaker and founder of Belle Glos, has announced the launch of its newest varietal and the brand’s first white wine, Belle Glos Glasir Holt Chardonnay. Belle Glos is known for making luxurious, terroir-driven pinot noirs from maritime-influenced vineyards in California. Hand-dipped in wax, the coastal Glasir Holt Chardonnay will be exclusively available direct to consumers, through the Belle Glos Wine Club and at Quilt & Co. Tasting Room and Lounge in downtown Napa, with hopes for national distribution in the future.
Positioned near the ocean in Northern California, the Glasir Holt Vineyard sits on the western edge of Santa Rita Hills. Although Wagner’s intentions were to grow Pinot Noir on this vineyard, a small portion of the land had an enticing chalky-like characteristic to the soil, primarily due to the high PH level and its calcareous nature. Wagner decided to try something new and plant Chardonnay vines. Due to the maritime impact of the ocean, cool days, and cooler nights, he was able to grow this mineral-driven Chardonnay, resulting in a classic, elegant style of wine, mirroring the rest of the Belle Glos portfolio.
“No other vineyard that we have farmed throughout California’s coast could match the character and quality of the Chardonnay at Glasir Holt,” says Wagner. “It is a more than an exceptional place and it shows in the grapes and in the wine. With the winemaking, we took a very traditional approach to allow for the purist expression of what Mother Nature gave us, which was a glaringly articulate embodiment of the soil and climate. So much so, that I could not deny its place as a vineyard designate to sit alongside its Belle Glos brethren.”
The Belle Glos Glasir Holt Chardonnay offers aromas of pie crust, lightly toasted marshmallow, banana cream pie, and hints of granny smith apple. On the palate, the wine finds large, luscious tones of melon, bright apple, and hints of buttery brioche. The wine has a well-balanced mouthfeel that dances on the palate with bright and lively acidity and minerality, resulting in a phenomenal expression of a coastal-driven Chardonnay.
In the cellar, the whole clusters were lightly pressed to separate all the solids and juice before sitting for about 24 hours. The liquid then went through a native yeast fermentation prior to fermenting in 10% concrete tanks and 90% new French oak barrels. During the fermentation process, malolactic fermentation occurred, which elevated the body of the wine, while the remaining lees were stirred once a week. After aging the liquid for about 12 months, Wagner bottled the wine which resulted in a beautiful Chardonnay from Santa Barbara.
Since starting Copper Cane Wines & Provisions in 2014, Wagner has launched numerous new wines, each with a distinct slant towards his personal style. Representative brands include Belle Glos, Böen, Elouan, and Napa Valley Quilt.
The Belle Glos Glasir Holt Chardonnay, and the remaining Belle Glos portfolio, are available for purchase at Quilt & Co. Tasting Room for $55.
For more information, head over to Belle Glos’ official website.