Jackson Estate Seco Highlands Chardonnay 2018
A rich, lively wine offering floral notes and balanced oak. The Rued clone imparts a Muscat/Gewürztraminer nose that makes the Seco Highlands Chardonnay a very inviting and surprising wine. The Arroyo Seco (Spanish for Dry Creek) appellation of Monterey County is in the center of the chilled Salinas Valley. Just the right distance from the Pacific Ocean to balance warm, sun-drenched days for ripeness, with the cooling effect of a marine layer (fog) and cold nights for bright, fresh acidity. Complex regions create the most interesting wines.
94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Jan 2020
The 2018 Chardonnay Seco Highlands is marked by soaring aromatic intensity and a weightless feel that is rather beguiling. Exotic white flowers, mint, lemon confit and white pepper are all beautifully lifted here. New oak is around 67%, but the wood is not at all noticeable. As always, this is one of the most distinctive wines in the range.
92 points, Erin Brooks, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Feb 2020
The 2017 Jackson Estate Seco Highlands Chardonnay was barrel fermented and aged nine months in 60% new French oak. It's very aromatic, giving up scents of lychee, honeysuckle and musk melon over peach cobbler, cured meats, saline, mushroom paste and hints of dried leaves and struck flint. Medium to full-bodied, it's broad, slightly oily and intense in the mouth, offering loads of floral-tinged fruits and savory accents, refreshed by just enough acidity on the long finish. This would be a great Chardonnay for fans of richly styled Viognier—that's what this reminds me of.
Aged 9 1/2 months in 100% French oak barrels, 60% new, with a medium toast.
Elevation: 250 - 350 feet above sea level
Soil: Western slope of Arroyo Seco region that is an alluvial bench of sandy loam and gravel soils.
Climate: Quite windy, yet nestled against the Santa Lucia mountains which reduces the wind factor. Fog is usually thick in the evenings coming in daily from the Monterey Bay.