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Foley Estate Winery Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • JS92
14.3% ABV
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • W&S91
  • CG92
  • WE92
  • WE93
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The initial scents of butter and toast give way to pineapple, white peaches, pears, nutmeg, vanilla and slate. On the palate the flavors are full, powerful and commanding. The finish is long and firm with traces of oak spice and minerals. The finish is lively thanks to the wine's low pH and firm acidity. It has enough body to stand up to a wide array of foods and the balance to drink well on its own.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 92
James Suckling
A wine with cooked apple, vanilla, lightly toasted oak and honey. Full and oily. Viscous yet a brightness to it, and vanilla bean aftertaste.
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Foley Estate Winery

Foley Estate Winery

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Foley Estate Winery, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery at Rancho Santa Rosa is the realization of vintner Bill Foley's dream to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. A historic parcel located in the Santa Rita Hills region of the Santa Ynez Valley, Rancho Santa Rosa was formerly a thoroughbred horse ranch. In 1998, Bill purchased the 460-acre property and planted to 230 acres of vineyard. Devoted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, the vineyard has been subdivided into 59 micro-blocks with each being farmed, harvested and vinified separately. The handsome stables have been refurbished to house the winery, with tremendous detail going into the planning of a modern facility, while honoring age-old winemaking tradition. Highly regarded by leading wine critics and sommeliers, Foley’s Burgundian-influenced portfolio has become a flagship property in the South Central Coast.

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.

RRM53734_2009 Item# 117029