Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced. The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France to New World wines with oak, and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates (such as Chablis and the Sonoma Coast AVA of California), Chardonnay tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple and pear. In warmer locations (such as the Adelaide Hills and Mornington Peninsula in Australia and Gisborne and Marlborough region of New Zealand) the flavors become more citrus, peach and melon while in very warm locations (such as the Napa Valley AVA of California) more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation tend to have softer acidity and fruit flavors with buttery mouthfeel and hazelnut notes.
- Item #: i_200515Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay El Jabali Vineyard is a very pretty, nuanced wine. Understated, soft and silky, it has much to offer. This is an especially delicate style of Chardonnay, especially for the Sta. Rita Hills. Dried pear, herb and dried flowers add nuance throughout."
- Item #: i_202980Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes: "This is what you get when you blend three impeccably farmed Chardonnay vineyards together. You get Fuji Apple, lemony salt water taffy, and a delicate herbal note that lies somewhere between spearmint and cumin. If you stainless ferment it at cool temperatures, it all gets delivered to the senses like a laser beam. The three vineyards are mine, Donnachadh (pronounced Donnaka), and Peake, so it doesn’t get much more Sta. Rita Hills than that."
- Item #: i_206040Bottle Size: 750mlWith the goal of expressing a comprehensive expression of the appellation, Brewer-Clifton selected four unique vineyard sites to create this Santa Rita Hills bottling. This blend is comprised of 3D, Machado, Acin, and Hapgood vineyards. As each vineyard has its own unique requirements, the winery manages each according to their inimitable needs rather than a macro approach to farming. Brewer-Clifton works to achieve a natrual balance between the site, the vines, the aspect and the microclimates in each vineyard, using sustainable and/or organic farming methods whenever possible
While each lot is handled separately and in a complete uniform fashion in the winery, each contributes vastly different expressions which untimately harmonize in the finished wine. Lemon, kiwi, orange blossom, and sweet basil leap from the glass, leading to jasmine, lime, ginger, and mineral flavors with a zesty finish.
- Item #: i_215420Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "There are plenty of highlights in this range from Ryan Deovlet. The wines are done in a restrained, laid-back style that really allows for the personality of each site to come through."
"Ryan Deovlet's 2015 Chardonnay Zotovich Family Vineyard offers lovely depth and steeliness, especially within the context of the year. Lemon peel, acacia, honey and almond overtones add character throughout. Fresh, steely and vibrant, the 2015 needs time to open up, but it is hugely appealing. The decision to block the malolactic fermentation at around 2/3rds was spot on. This is one of the most attractive Chardonnays off Zotovich."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "I was impressed with these recent releases from Ryan Deovlet, who draws on some of Santa Barbara County's finest vineyards to produce these exciting wines. I found the Chardonnays especially compelling, as Deovlet's winemaking—which can briefly be summarized and somewhat simplified as gentle whole cluster pressing, fermentation beginning in tank and concluding in barrels (only small percentages of which are new), followed by sur lie elevage with partial malolactic—yields results which strongly evoke serious Chablis. Happily, an inquiry concerning an unrepresentative bottle issued in the chance to sample some library wines, an exercise which confirmed that Deovlet's wines are maturing slowly and gracefully. Given the reasonable pricing, these are certainly wines for those who appreciate cool-climate styles to seek out."
"The 2015 Chardonnay Zotovich Family Vineyard reveals youthful aromas of citrus oil, apple, wheat toast and oyster shell, framed by light reduction. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, elegantly glossy and acid-driven, with lovely cut and tension and a tangy, saline finish. This is very much a California Chardonnay in the image of Chablis, and very successful too."
- Item #: i_215950Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Dragonette's 2016 Chardonnay Rita's Crown is compelling. Powerful and vibrant in the glass, with tremendous resonance, the 2016 is one of the more memorable Chardonnays I tasted this year in the Sta. Rita Hills. Lemon confit, apricot, flowers and white pepper all flesh out, but it is the wine's structural intensity and energy that leave the strongest impression. This is a fabulous wine by any measure."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "A step up over the Duvarita, the 2016 Chardonnay Rita's Crown Vineyard comes from a higher elevation vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 17 months in 20% new French oak. It offers killer notes of orange blossom, buttered pineapple, and white flowers, with an undeniable minerality and salinity emerging on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, complex, and layered, with a great mid-palate and a clean, crisp finish, this beauty will keep for upward of a decade or more."
- Item #: i_249370Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsNamed after Fess' daughter, Ashley, this Chardonnay represents the best of the acclaimed Sta. Rita Hills growing region. The majority of the grapes come from a vineyard developed by the Parker family in 1996 situated only 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean. This hillside sites, sandy soils, persistent ocean breezes and fog make for a cold growing environment; the perfect scenario for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This wine shows pear, green apple, citrus, and lemon cream flavors complemented by attractive mineral notes with vanilla and toasty oak notes.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Ashley's is generous and resonant on the palate. Orange peel, lemon confit, spice and new French oak (34%) shape a broad, creamy Chardonnay that will drink well with minimal cellaring."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Ashley's is another Sta. Rita Hills release and spent 9 months in 34% new French oak. Its medium gold color is followed by a spicy, toasty Chardonnay that has classic orchard fruits and white flower aromas, a core of sweet fruit, medium body, and a juicy finish. It's a total charmer to enjoy over the coming 4-5 years."
- Item #: i_238710Bottle Size: 750mlDelightfully elegant floral notes of orange blossom, linden, and honeysuckle awaken your senses. Flavors are fresh and inviting on the palate with bright minerality complemented by zippy tangerine fruit. Soft oak notes linger on the finish with flavors of nutmeg, vanilla and toasted pecans. This 2016 has enough body to stand up to a wide array of foods and the balance to drink well on its own.
- Item #: i_224270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 90 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS
Our Estate Grown Chardonnay is a blend of grapes from our two ideally situated Santa Rita Hills vineyards: Rancho Esperanza, located on the western edge and Evan’s Ranch located on the eastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The Santa Rita Hills appellation is located approximately 10 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Esperanza produces a bright lean style of chardonnay with citrus and mineral notes and great acidity. We complete the blend with Evan’s Ranch fruit to fill in with richness and ripe apple components. Blending this prime fruit together allows us to craft a deeply flavorful, beaut Our Estate Grown Chardonnay is a blend of grapes from our two ideally situated Santa Rita Hills vineyards: Rancho Esperanza, located on the western edge and Evan’s Ranch located on the eastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The Santa Rita Hills appellation is located approximately 10 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Esperanza produces a bright lean style of chardonnay with citrus and mineral notes and great acidity. We complete the blend with Evan’s Ranch fruit to fill in with richness and ripe apple components. Blending this prime fruit together allows us to craft a deeply flavorful, beautifully textured and delightfully complex chardonnay.
- Item #: i_275370Bottle Size: 750mlThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Valley runs west to east, opening a gap in the coastal range, allowing the late afternoon ocean fog to roll in where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley. The fog cools the vines from the day's summer heat and it is this combination of warm days and cool nights that gives the wine its complexity as well as providing acidity to give it structure.
Lafond's new planting of Chardonnay is well represented. Five different clones planted in a range of soils from marine sand to loam with a clay subsurface. The Hilltop component is from 35 year old vines.
- Item #: i_236870Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Golden Slope captures an attractive stylistic middle ground that expresses notable textural richness and creaminess while retaining a good bit of aromatic nuance. Orchard fruit, wild flowers and a touch of reduction add complexity."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Golden Slope is much more classic Chardonnay in style, with textbook stone fruits, brioche, toasted bread and white flower aromatics. Rich, medium-bodied, nicely textured and concentrated and balanced, drink it anytime over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_236780Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Liquid Farm's "White Hill" bottling is the leaner and more Chablisiane of their two Chardonnay bottlings. Comprised of fruit from some of the best vineyards in the area, White Hill highlights the unique salinity that comes through in the ancient soils of Santa Rita Hills. The style of this wine will always be racier and predominately neutral barrel fermentation. Its profile is that of mineral, yellow peach, fresh Asian pear, salinity, linen, candied ginger, and lavender cream.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "There are fully 1,200 cases of the 2016 Chardonnay White Hill, Liquid Farm's largest bottling, which offers up a crisp bouquet of white peach, citrus pith, smoke and faint reduction. On the palate, the wine is bright and medium-bodied, with racy acids and nice tension, but concluding with a somewhat fluid finish that depresses my score a touch."
- Item #: i_257650Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2016 Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay is a beautiful straw gold color. On the nose, it offers intriguing aromas of grilled citrus, stone fruits and roasted almond. In addition to the bright fruit, the palate has racy minerality, great structure and a long finish. This Chardonnay makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes and excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).
- Item #: i_269750Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay La Rinconada Vineyard is one of the more giving and expressive whites in Justin Willett's range this year, offering up aromas of green mango, orchard fruit and hazelnut cream. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, mouthwatering and flavorful, with a bright, chalky finish. I'd expect more texture to appear with a year or two in bottle."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay La Rinconada Vineyard is another attractive wine. Here the alluvial soils yield a creamy, resonant Chardonnay endowed with notable mid-palate richness and breath, with slightly tropical-leaning notes that add layers of nuance. This is an especially inviting Chardonnay from Tyler."
- Item #: i_295770Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsZotovich Cellars is a family owned and operated boutique winery located in coastal Lompoc, California. Winemaker, Ryan Zotovich is coming most recently from Sea Smoke where he began working with Kris Curran. Prior to working at Sea Smoke, Ryan was the assistant winemaker at Palmina. With Ryan’s help, Zotovich Cellars is proud to offer small, closely monitored lots of estate wine. 100% of the grapes crushed into Zotovich wine are grown on the 35 acre Zotovich estate vineyard located off of Route 246, between Melville and Foley wineries.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay offers lovely freshness and verve, with plenty of citrus, mint and floral overtones. Bright, saline notes extend the finish effortlessly. Drink this gracious, mid-weight Chardonnay over the next few years."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay offers more peach and hints of tropical fruits as well as more richness and depth on the palate. With classic citrus fruits, some spice, and minerality aromas and flavors, medium body, nicely integrated acidity, and a clean finish, it's a terrific, classic Chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills. It too is ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years."