The fruit for this wine comes from the oldest section of Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, planted in the early 70's. This vineyard has a high degree of calcified marine deposits in the soil, the vineyard orientation is a very cool northern-facing site, and the cool ocean breezes in what is now the Sta. Rita Hills appellation (a sub-appellation of the Santa Ynez valley) all combine for compelling terroir exhibited in the wines from Sanford and
The 2008 harvest was typical, we would generally pick Chardonnay from Sanford and
Benedict Vineyards towards the end of September. After hand-picking, whole cluster
pressing and complete primary and malo-lactic fermentation in the barrel, which are 50%
new French, the wine was aged sur-lee for 12 months in these same barrels. The final
product is a wine of balance and restraint with underlying power. You can smell and
taste the flinty soil. After bottle aging for a year the limey, lemony flavors and aromas are
starting to become more apparent.
This is a wine that is great today, try it with lighter fare. The wine will easily age for 10
years. In the future pair this wine stone crab, or any shell fish.