Gibbs 2012 Chardonnay “Terroir NV Block”

Napa Valley, CA; 14.1% ABV
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 4 July

Gibbs_2012_Chardonnay_TerroirNVBlockThis wine looked quite promising, from a single vineyard in Napa Valley, nice label, good year, low price, etc.

On first pour, the wine seemed okay but not particularly interesting.  However, the second glass showed nicely complex and integrated medium-intensity flavors of ripe yellow apple with a little pineapple, green apple, white pear, a little bitterness of skin / stem, and a slight aged caramel / nuttiness.  The texture was smooth and moderately viscous.  This seems quite good for the price.

The next day, the nose is forceful and lovely, showing ripe, lightly caramelized golden apple / pineapple / golden kiwi / maybe yellow / white pear.  There’s a lot more of that on the palate, with just a slight tinge of that green apple, well integrated with something a little funky that’s very close to (and might be part of) the oak.  It still has the slightly viscous texture, and is still quite tasty, although now in a more over-the-top kind of way, but still reasonably balanced.  Given that it needed a bit of air on the first day, I’m a little surprised by how much it changed on the second, but it was very good for the price on both days.

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8 thoughts on “Gibbs 2012 Chardonnay “Terroir NV Block”

  1. Zoel

    I’m in agreement with those above, with added thoughts…first, packaging is first-rate – the bottle alone is expensive (thanks Napa) with deep punt and classy lines. The fruit is solid, and is typical of higher-end Napa chards…this ain’t Burgundy nor Russian River nor Central Coast…but it is a fine example of mid-priced Napa Chard at a good price…compared to the Blackjack “21” (a house fav here), less pronounced fruit, more sophisticated structure, shorter finish…good food pairings as well. 90 points.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I thought the Blackjack was too tropical fruit for my taste so I should try this. Still wondering, though, why I am the only one on here talking about the Field Notes.

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Berkeley has a lot of it. I’ve also seen it at Oakland and Richmond, not sure if it is still there.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Picked up a bottle of the Field Notes in the North Bay which means this is widely available since I could purchase it there. SB, I can see why you like this bottling since there is ample acid and on the leaner side and not so much like a catamount wine. There is a resemblance to a French bottling of Chardonnay, but not entirely. Definitely not a minerally type wine to go with oysters on the half shell, but maybe with something a bit richer. The nose isn’t as intense or fruity as the Gibbs Chard nor does it have the sur lies nose. The bottle says vinted and bottled by, but with the field notes of when the grapes were picked—kinda reminds me of a game tag— and the tribute to grape growers, I would consider it a produced and bottled by type of wine.

            Reply
  2. Darrell

    Bought this bottle on July 6 and was going to post an evaluation that night. The bottle intrigued me since it was produced and bottled by and the 16 weeks of bâtonnage described on the back label. Was going to try unchilled, but had something else for dinner that night. Got called away to be a rooter shooter disturbing a vineyard for three days and came back to see BW and glpease tasted it. The sur lies and bâtonnage give a wine that “slight viscous” texture. Will try my bottle soon.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      The bottle had a real cork. Light yellow color with med.+ nose of fruitiness with a touch of oakiness which I didn’t expect. The melding of fruit and oak in the nose was well balanced. The nose was much better than the flavor which was quite bitter for me. The bitter flavor lingers at the back of the tongue. The nose had a prominent pineapple- like character, along with pear and banana aromas. Med – acid, oak flavors and not as viscous as anticipated. The sur lies and bâtonnage character aren’t there for me as it was in the Chapter Three Chardonnay or a Graham Beck Chard. When there is substantial aging sur lies and bâtonnage in barrel, I don’t get oakiness in the nose and flavor even when new barrels are used. Not too sure about thrice the price value but definitely worth the $6. Having the wine with food might lessen the bitterness found in just tasting the wine.

      Reply
  3. glpease

    I opened this while preparing supper, and as I scribble this, am on my second (third?) glass. At the store, I joked a bit with BW about the name, but the juice in the bottle is no laughing matter. I get fruit cocktail pears in the nose (don’t judge me), with hints of that sur lie/bâtonage yeastiness, with more subtle hints of Chinese chrysanthemum leaves (tung ho – seriously) and ripe muskmelon. On the palate, the wine is velvety, voluptuous, round and lovely, with flavours of ripe pineapple, pear, passion fruit, toast, yeast on top of the usual chardonnay “stuff,” but minus the overly ubiquitous “butter” that haunts too many CA examples. The Goldilocks finish is medium in length and delightful, neither cloying nor overly ephemeral, with more of those pear notes revealing themselves. If anyone reading is of the impression that I really, REALLY like this wine, they’d be spot on. I plan on going back for a few bottles tomorrow. I’d love it at thrice the price. Time for glass number four…

    Reply

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