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LUTUM Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • W&S93
  • RP92
13.8% ABV
  • JD96
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright citrus with tropical notes of melon and hints of anise seed on the nose, this wine exhibits a distinct freshness. As it opens in the glass, lime zest and grilled brioche add complexity, which continues on the palate. Great structure and minerality drive the mid-palate, leading to a long, refreshing finish.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
From the original S&B block planted in 1971, this is a resolutely savory chardonnay that deserves a few years in bottle. With air, it expands from marine saltiness and toasty lees-driven scents toward fruit that’s powerful, fresh, plump and earthy all at once, flexing its old-vine muscle with a fine balance. You might think of Meursault, though its saline streak and laser-sharp acidity are products of cool ocean breezes rather than limestone.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better than the 2012, the 2013 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard spent 15 months in 33% new French oak before being bottled unfiltered in late December of 2014. It has a gorgeous, salty minerality to go with classic lemon curd, melon, chamomile and sweet spice notes on the nose. Medium-bodied, pure, elegant and perfectly balanced, it's a classic Chardonnay that does everything right.
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LUTUM
LUTUM, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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LUTUM was born from a shared vision between Bill Price, entrepreneur and owner of Classic Wines and Price Family Vineyards, and winemaker Gavin Chanin. Their wine focuses on small-production, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from prime vineyard sites in California. The name LUTUM is Latin for dirt or soil, referencing their mission to make wines that express these great sites, with little to mask the vineyards' natural character. Together, they are the Bards of LUTUM.

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.

RVLL213CHSB_2013 Item# 330998