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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 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.

CWL21275815_2015 Item# 355059