Smoking Loon Steelbird
Our 2012 Smoking Loon "Steelbird" is Chardonnay with a difference. We kicked the oak to the curb aging this wine for five months in 100% stainless steel. The wine opens with a lush floral bouquet of Honeydew melon and fresh pear, followed by notes of Granny Smith apple and ruby red grapefruit. This medium-bodied wine is bright yet creamy on the palate from partial malolactic fermentation with its refreshing flavors of lemon curd and pineapple; it's sure to become an instant summer favorite. This wine will pair nicely with a wide variety of dishes, from homemade guacamole and chips to a fresh Margherita pizza or even a simple Caesar salad with a squeeze of lemon.
In crafting our 2012 Smoking Loon Steelbird Chardonnay, our winemakers sourced grapes throughout California's prime grape growing regions including Clarksburg, Lodi, Santa Barbara and Solano County. Known for its abundant sunshine which helps to ensure a reliable extended growing season, the "Golden State" has become an American winemaking mecca on par with the other great wine regions of the world. California boasts nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs), that encompass over a half million acres of vineyards, supporting a diverse varietal mix. Cool climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive in the fog-bathed coastal areas, while the warmer inland valleys provide the perfect conditions for heartier heat loving varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.
Having weathered two excessively cool and wet vintages in 2010 and 2011, which reduced yields and made it difficult for grapes to fully ripen, California winemakers had much to rejoice about in 2012. Across the Golden State, most wine regions enjoyed near idyllic conditions throughout the growing season resulting in a bountiful crop of picture perfect grapes across all varietals. A perfect spring bud break, followed by steady flowering, an even fruit set, and just the right amount of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights, ensured that grapes enjoyed the extended hang time needed to fully develop. The fruit that emerged was ideally balanced, richly structured and age worthy, with great color saturation, and sweet tannins.
Smoking Loon was established in 2000 on a very simple premise: good wine doesn't need to take itself so seriously. Originally named for Don Sebastiani's love of cigars and his father August's passion for water fowl (don't ask, long story), Smoking Loon offers an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek approach to enjoying wine. Our wines are crafted for those with an appetite for adventure, those in touch with their inner loon, those who consider pretense simply unnecessary. Each vintage provides our winemakers the perfect opportunity to have a little fun and indulge their inner loon. They start by scouring the top wine regions of the world for the finest fruit. Then, they gently guide that fruit to its fullest potential, creating fruit-forward, well-balanced wines that offer a keen blend of approachability, quality and value.