Alta Maria Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
Alta Maria Chardonnay 2012 Front Label

Alta Maria Chardonnay 2012

  • W&S92
750ML / 13.9% ABV
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750ML / 13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Alta Maria focuses on producing estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from distinct vineyard sites in the cold, oceanic and windy climate of the Santa Maria Valley appellation in Northern Santa Barbara County. The landscape here is marked by an East - West oriented valley, which at its mouth, opens directly to the cold Pacific Ocean. This results in one of the most elongated growing seasons anywhere in the world allowing us to ripen fruit slowly and evenly.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
This comes mostly from the 40-year-old vines of Bien Nacido’s W Block (the same as the Chanin wine above), along with some fruit from Presqu’ile Vineyard. It’s raised without any new oak, allowing the freshness of cool-climate chardonnay to shine through with floral tones and mouthwatering notes of green pear skin. This is as clean as it gets: a beautiful chardonnay presented without makeup.
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Alta Maria

Alta Maria

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Alta Maria, California
Alta Maria Winery Image
Alta Maria is a small, artisan winery focusing on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cold and oceanic Santa Maria Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County. Founded by 9th Generation California James Ontiveros, and Winemaker and long-time college friend Paul Wilkins, Alta Maria's wines are inspired by the old world regions of France and are classic examples of purity, balance and complexity. We strive to make the best wines possible in a very conscientious manner and employ organic and sustainable practices leaving no indelible mark on the people and places around us.

The name "Alta Maria" refers to the upper Santa Maria River, which James' ancestor, Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros crossed on Saint Mary's Day, 1855, as he drove cattle from Southern California to his new home at Rancho Tepusquet – now home to some of the globe's most renowned vines. The picturesque river flowing through the valley was the force responsible for sustaining ranch life in those early days.

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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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.

RVLAI12SMCH_2012 Item# 141128

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