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Babcock Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Imagine if they took some fruit from the Top Cream section of their estate vineyard, and instead of doing the full Burgundian stylistic expansion with it, they fermented it in stainless steel at a nice cool temperature to lock in its fruit and minerality. Imagine if they borrowed from the Burgundian recipe just a little malolactic fermentation to balance the fruit's natural acidity with richness. What would one call such a wonderful thing? Well, here at the winery we call it "Baby Cream". No it does not have the world class dimension that the Top Cream has. But it does have rip roaring fruit with a mouthwatering finish that goes forever. If you call the winery and ask for Baby Cream, they'll know what you're talking about.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Brian Babcock's 2014 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is soft, open-knit and delicious. Dried pear, lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper are front and center in this very pretty, expressive Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay. Fermenting in steel keeps the flavors bright and focused, but there is plenty of the signature Babcock texture in the glass.
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Babcock

Babcock Winery and Vineyards

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Babcock Winery and Vineyards, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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With 80 acres of grapes farmed meticulously by Babcock Winery and Vineyards for low yields, and ripe fruit of exceptional quality, winemaker Bryan Babcock understands that great wines begin in the vineyard. One of California's brightest stars in the field of winemaking, Babcock was not only selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Ten Best Winemakers of the Year," he was also named by this influential daily as "Most Courageous Winemaker of the Year" for his daring style. The prestigious James Beard Foundation chose Bryan as one of the "Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World," the only American chosen for this oenological dream team. In choosing Bryan for this award, David Moore wrote, "Bryan Babcock best exemplifies the traits I look for in a great winemaker. The quality of Bryan's wines speak for themselves, yet it is his personal commitment to excellence that stands out so much. His relentless experimentation, his willingness to explore the possibilities with so many grape varieties, and his aesthetic are a world apart from the usual American approach to winemaking."

Sta. Rita Hills

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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.

Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG774525_2014 Item# 169657