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Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE94
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Rita's Crown vineyard is a very promising site located at the highest elevation in the region, hence the "Crown of Santa Rita". Planted at 600 to 1000 feet, Rita's Crown is on diatomaceous soils, which are fossilized seashells and hallmarks of the appellation. This soil creates a mineral thread in the wines while also adding more stress and concentrating the fruit flavors. Furthermore because of its high pitch, this site receives an extraordinary amount of ocean wind further intensifying the fruit.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Brilliant, the 2011 Chardonnay Rita’s Crown dishes up layers of citrus blossom, oyster shell, white flowers and a saline-like minerality that emerges more on the palate. It is a medium-bodied, gorgeously pure Chardonnay that has laser-like precision and focus. Don’t miss it. Drink 2014-2018.
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Sandhi

Sandhi

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Sandhi, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Sandhi is a small production California winery focusing on select vineyards from the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County and was founded in 2010 by Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, Charles Banks, the former owner of Jonata and Screaming Eagle, and esteemed winemaker, Sashi Moorman.

Sandhi represents a union essential to the production of wine: the collaboration between man, earth, and vine. The willing participation of all three elements is necessary to make great wine, and the winegrower must make this collaboration rich and nourishing for all involved. An understanding of these joint efforts informs Sandhi’s exploration of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines throughout the Santa Barbara County terroir.

The individual vineyards from which these grapes originate–some legendary, some new–have been exhaustively vetted for character, personality, and balance. Employing the wisdom and talents of people who know the vineyards, Sandhi is dedicated to making wines of finesse, minerality, acidity, structure and balance. Wine achieves power and beauty through the seamless integration of these qualities, and this is the inspiration for Sandhi. Wines exhibiting extreme ripeness, alcohol, oak, and other discordant exaggerations cannot truly express a specific vineyards terroir.

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.

DOB139830_2011 Item# 139830