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Rusack Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
14.4% ABV
  • WE90
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The truly distinctive flavors from the cool Northern and Western extremes of Santa Barbara County come together in this bottle. Here, Rusack’s love of blending has resulted in a marriage of exceptional fruit aromas with carefully balanced acidity, capturing the best qualities of the area. Honeydew melon, Asian pear, orange blossom, as well as citrus notes, are highlighted in this appealingly crisp white wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay sports a toasty oak and butterscotch-laced nose over a core of ripe nectarines, pink grapefruit and guava. Medium to full-bodied with a pleasant oiliness to the texture, it offers a generous amount of stone fruit and oak-inspired flavors with satisfying persistence. It’s a little old school, but nicely done!
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Rusack

Rusack

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Rusack, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Rusack was established in 1995 by Geoff Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack with a commitment to creating world-class wines. In the years since then, this dedication to quality has meant some dramatic changes at the winery.

The most visible change is in the vineyard. Following the 2001 harvest, many of the original vines were pulled out and replanted under the guidance of winemaker John Falcone. Utilizing cutting edge technology and taking advantage of Ballard Canyon’s unique terroir, varieties to be grown were carefully chosen and limited to those clones best suited to the microclimate. Syrah, Sangiovese, and Sauvignon Blanc have been planted, along with smaller lots of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot to be blended into the renowned "Anacapa."

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

CWL21275815_2015 Item# 355059