Peake Ranch is a boutique, family-run winery owned by John and Gillian Wagner. Like all of us who have visited Santa Barbara County, the couple fell in love with the beautiful countryside and the friendliness of the people. They purchased Peake Ranch with a vision of building a winery and a house on the property, and producing extraordinary wines. They also bring a humbleness and sense of humility, which is honestly quite refreshing. They are already receiving rave reviews from the critics, and considering this is only the fourth vintage of this wine, this is an impressive feat!
Located on the eastern end of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA on Santa Rosa Road, the Peake Ranch estate is a 105-acre parcel with 50 acres of vines. The plantings are all along a hill that exposes the vines to the cool air that comes off the Pacific and into the Santa Ynez Valley. The combination of North, South, East and West facing slopes coupled with the exposure to varying degrees of the cool wind give the vineyard a diversity of fruit flavor profiles that is unique for a ranch of their size.
Most domestic Chardonnays with this score sell close to, if not in excess of the triple-digit price point. But being ones who wish to have their wines enjoyed, rather than just talked about, the Wagners decided to keep their prices on the more reasonable end of the spectrum, and this sells for just $54.95!
Jeb Dunnuck rated this at 98 points, and thinks this "ranks with the creme de la creme in the vintage". Erin Brooks from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated this at 95+ points and writes that the wine "promises to gain complexity over the next decade in bottle". Couple the score with those noteworthy statements, and you'll see why Peake Ranch is one of our favorite wines to not only recommend, but also to take home ourselves!
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "From the home estate in the Sta. Rita Hills, the 2019 Chardonnay Peake Ranch Vineyard is another rock star of a Chardonnay. Stone fruits, crushed stone, white flowers, toasted nuts, and a subtle marine-like salinity all emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, pure, and racy on the palate, with a fabulous texture. This ranks with the creme de la creme in the vintage. Hats off to winemaker Wynne Solomon for another incredible wine."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "With its 45% new French oak already well subsumed, the 2019 Chardonnay Peake Ranch Vineyard is blossoming into a pure, crystalline expression that promises to gain complexity over the next decade in bottle. Savory tones of beeswax, candle wax and hazelnuts complement white apricots and orange blossoms, with a streak of creme fraiche-like character adding aromatic interest. The palate is satiny, pure and expansive, with a youthful touch of tanginess to the acidity, and flint-laced flavors linger on the extended finish. 268 cases were made."