92 Points, James Suckling
"Attractive freshness and gently flinty citrus fruits. Aromas of melon and hazelnut nougat follow and lead to a palate with lemon, grapefruit, grilled peaches and nectarines. Layered and textural. Some pithy grip to close. This has attractive freshness and composure. Drink now.” - James Suckling
93 points - Wine Enthusiast
"Heady oak aromas lead the nose of this silky, rich wine sourced from a cool site on the producer's own Big Ranch Vineyard at the southern end of the valley. Golden honey notes add to its luxurious nature, contrasting the linear infusion of tart lemon zest, orange peel and nutty spice flavors." - Virginia Boone
93 Points - Vinous
"The 2015 Chardonnay Luminus is terrific in this vintage. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper are front and center. The decision to partially block the malolactic fermentation results in a Chardonnay endowed with striking nuance and energy. All the elements fall into place effortlessly." - Antonio Galloni
The 2015 Luminus offers generous aromas showcasing bright lemon citrus characteristics and a core of minerality. The wine is rich with robust and balanced acidity making the lemon zest and toasted hazelnut flavors pop on the palate. The wine is silky with an elegant texture and long finish.
The 2015 growing season in the Napa Valley was a beautiful one marked by pleasant weather with no real issues from heat spikes or rain. A dry winter followed by a dry and early spring meant an early bud break. Weather was warm throughout late spring and summer which allowed for great development in the grapes. Harvest began in August, and the overall quality and depth of flavor of the fruit was outstanding for vintage 2015. The only downside of the season was the light crop load due to continued drought conditions. Grapes for the 2015 Luminus were harvested between August 20th and September 14th.
Luminus is a single-vineyard Chardonnay from Beringer’s Big Ranch Vineyard 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 that showed excellent early development provide an elegant complexity and fruit weight to the blend.
Each Chardonnay lot was kept separate throughout the aging process. After sending the fruit directly to press, the juice was fermented in seasoned French oak barrels (45 percent new). The lees were stirred every other week to integrate the subtle oak notes and develop a polished texture. Winemaking is focused on showcasing the unique characteristics of Oak Knoll Chardonnay at the highest level, and achieved that with the final blend made after 10 months of aging in barrels.