Alma Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016
Our 2016 Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay shows a brilliant straw color with green highlights. Aromas of lemon curd, wet gravel, fig, and hazelnut leap forward from the glass. The wine is rich on the palate, with good weight and striking flavors of earth, meyer lemon, and key lime. A noticeable heft from the barrel fermentation and malolactic conversion of the El Jabali fruit is deftly balanced by sizzling acidity from the stainless component. Though ready for the table now with richer fish and poultry dishes, experience demonstrates that Chardonnay from thp Sta. Rita Hills ages nicely for several years in bottle.
Working in partnership for more than 30 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple, successful winegrowing enterprises. Their latest venture, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, represents the culmination of a lifetime's experience – an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and environment-friendly commerce.
A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.
The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.