Chamisal Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2016
This bright wine exhibits focused characteristics with aromas of stone fruit, ripe pear and jasmine. The entry is fruit driven with hints of toasted oak, Fuji apple and white peach, giving an element of purity to the midpalate. Finishing clean with fresh minerality and broad texture, the wine is a beautiful example of Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pioneers in winemaking on the Central Coast, Chamisal Vineyards was the first to plant vineyards in the Edna Valley in 1973. Chamisal is nestled five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean on the rugged California Coast. With the cooling Pacific Ocean nearby, the long temperate growing season extends the amount of time grapes stay on the vine to develop their flavors. This extended hang time paired with the calcareous, clay-rich soil of the property produces fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors, often showing a distinctive character that some fondly call "Chamisal Spice." Chamisal Vineyards has a site-driven approach to winemaking, crafting each wine as an expression of the unique terroir of the vineyards from which it is sourced. When applied to Chardonnay, this approach produces a range of versatile and distinctive wines that range from full-bodied and supple with generous oak influence to lean, elegant and mineral-driven. SIP-CERTIFIED WINERY In 2016, Chamisal Vineyards became the second winery ever to become SIP certified. This program, separate from vineyard certification, requires that winemaking operations also be sustainable and respectful of the environment. They tightly monitor and control the winery’s energy and water use by using solar panels to produce 25 percent of the electrical power needed and implemented a water-recapture system that reclaims 100 percent of Chamisal winery process water for irrigation needs.
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.