92 points - Wine Enthusiast
“There’s an honest suggestion of bacon and eggs at first in this wine, which follows with a tangy entry that sizzles on the palate. Full, luscious and honeyed in oak, it’s a powerful expression that’s also balanced between fruit and nuance.” - Virginia Boone
The 2014 Luminus offers beautiful purity of fruit, showcasing bright citrus characteristics and a bright minerality. It has a robust acidity, notes of lemon zest, subtle toasted almond and a silky, elegant texture.
Luminus is a single vineyard Chardonnay from Beringer’s Big Ranch Vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll AVA. Located on the valley floor and at the southern end of the Napa Valley, Big Ranch is an ideal location for this style of Chardonnay owing to the cooling influence of the San Pablo Bay, preserving nice acidity and minerality in the grapes. A selection of Burgundian clones which showed excellent early development provide an elegant complexity and fruit weight to the blend.
Despite numerous challenges including a drought in California and the Napa Valley earthquake, the 2014 vintage still came in under ideal harvest weather and delivered an abundant crop. A dry winter was followed by heavy rains in early spring which replenished the vines as they went into bud break. Weather was warm throughout late spring and summer which allowed for great development in the grapes. Harvest began in August, and finished two weeks early with a crop of nice quality and quantity overall. Grapes for the 2014 Luminus were harvested between August 26th and September 11th.
Each Chardonnay lot was kept separate throughout the aging process. After sending the fruit directly to press the juice was then fermented in seasoned French oak barrels (20 percent new). The lees were stirred every other week to integrate the subtle oak notes and develop a polished texture. The focus of the wine is to showcase the unique characteristics of Oak Knoll Chardonnay at the highest level, and this is achieved with the final blend made after nine months of aging in barrels.