Review: Baldacci 2021 Proprietary Red Blend and 2022 Chardonnay Carneros

Review: Baldacci 2021 Proprietary Red Blend and 2022 Chardonnay Carneros

Thomas and Brenda Baldacci certainly have much for which they could give thanks and celebrate. Last year marked 25 years since purchasing their Stags Leap Estate and next year will mark 25 years since their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. 2023 also marked 20 years since the opening of their tasting room and as of this writing, it has now been four months and six days since having the pleasure to enjoy Michael Baldacci’s decadent tribute to his father, the Thomas Collection. Lots of momentous occasions, but today we are focusing on two of their latest offerings: the debut of a new Merlot-based red blend and the return of their nuanced Chardonnay. One to enjoy while saying goodbye to colder weather and another to welcome the return of warmer months.

2022 Baldacci Chardonnay Carneros Napa Valley – Lively and light, this Chardonnay kicks off with notes of lemon and white flowers before pivoting to a palate big on tropical fruit and lemon cream. There’s a slight touch of minerality and oak on the finish, but it’s never too obtrusive or threatens to spoil the party. This is an incredibly well-balanced and clean Chardonnay that could easily be enjoyed as an aperitif with friends on a cooler evening. A- / $50

2021 Baldacci Proprietary Red Blend Napa Valley – In honor of winemaker Michael Baldacci’s ten years of tenure, this blend reflects his love for Baldacci’s Estate Merlot by incorporating it as the primary grape, contributing 30% of the total blend. The remainder of the composition includes Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Cabernet Franc (20%), Malbec (15%), and Petit Verdot (8%), all aged 20 months in 100% French oak barrels. While not standing completely in diametric opposition to the winery’s Fraternity blend, this blend scales back the Cabernet Sauvignon (down from 2021 Fraternity’s 73%) and allows the Merlot to take center stage. The results are highly rewarding, with aromas of dark fruit and baking spice leading to a palate filled with generous notes of plum, vanilla, and blueberry. The tannins are ripe and there’s plenty of depth on display through the finish, where earthier notes of tobacco leaf, oak, and a slight touch of balsamic deliver a compelling conclusion. Another solid blend that is ready to go now, or stored for the eventual arrival of autumn. A- / $70

2022 Baldacci Chardonnay Carneros Napa Valley




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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