Rebel Rebel, Chardonnay Reserve, Napa Valley

"Rebel Rebel, how could they know? Hop tramp, I love you so!" David Bowie, 'Diamond Dogs'.

If Cabernet Sauvignon is the King of Californian reds, then Chardonnay is the Queen of Californian whites. REBEL REBEL is rooted in being a cool climate wine that brings traditional Napa Chardonnay into the modern era. There is a raciness, a tang, and a twang about the wine, along with sufficient minerality to be more than just interesting.

Factsheet Reviews Purchase

 

2014

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

"Citrusy, crisp, flowery notes are present in his 2014 Chardonnay Rebel Rebel, which spent three months on its lees, is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling. It is medium-bodied, dry and very well-made. It offers attractive notes of tangerine oil and loads of character and personality. Drink it over the next 4-5 years."

2013

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

92 POINTS

"(14.9% alcohol; from a cool Beckstoffer Vineyard just north of San Pablo Bay):  Pale, green-tinged yellow.  Delicate white peach, lemon drop and white flowers on the nose.  Then densely-packed-verging-in-thick, but with very good definition and lift to the flavors of pineapple, lemon and white peach.  Sound, ripe acidity, near-15% alcohol and a slightly tannic impression give the wine a bit of youthful harshness but also the structure to repay a couple years of cellaring."

VINEYARD

The wine is sourced from the Beckstoffer vineyards that are situated in the Los Carneros region around the Pablo Bay area just north of San Francisco. The fog breezes that come up from the bay make for the cooler climate. This, mixed with a predominately clay terroir encourages the vines to retain moisture. The cooler climate imparts an increased zippiness to the wine.

TECHNICAL

The grapes are hand-picked and sorted (allowing the removal of all damaged or sunburnt grapes while at the same time respecting the quality of the fruit) and transferred as whole bunches into a pneumatic press. The juice is chilled to preserve the fresh-fruit flavours, before being vinified at under 14°C in a continuation of that policy. Oak is used sparingly so as to not overwhelm the fresh, mineral and fruit vibrancy. 

ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

Years ago, Jonathan and Neil were sitting in a wine bar in Adelaide and, from their glasses, mixed a drop of sharp Riesling into a slightly uninspiring Chardonnay. The effect was electric. A wine was made there called EXODUS using this recipe as the template. It went on to be lauded as one of the two best Chardonnays out of Australia. So the trick is repeated here relying on the Riesling to give the mineral edge that will set the wine apart from others.

WHAT THEY SAY

92 POINTS, STEPHEN TANZER, INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

"Pale, green-tinged yellow.  Delicate white peach, lemon drop and white flowers on the nose.  Then densely-packed-verging-in-thick, but with very good definition and lift to the flavors of pineapple, lemon and white peach.  Sound, ripe acidity, near-15% alcohol and a slightly tannic impression give the wine a bit of youthful harshness but also the structure to repay a couple years of cellaring."