Rabble Chardonnay 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Rabble /'rab?l/a disorderly mob, fueled by passion, pushing the public to think differently?
These are single varietal wines, uncorrupted and pure. These wines embrace characteristics of the grape (Tempranillo that tastes like Tempranillo), the place (wind and frosts of Santa Maria; extreme diurnal shifts of Paso Robles) and the mindset (how sad to think that nature speaks and mankind doesn’t listen). Labels are renditions of historical wood block prints, textured and tactile, depicting nature’s wrath. Nature is ruthless when it goes ignored.
A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.
Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.
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.