Sandhi Sanford and Benedict Chardonnay 2018
The 2018 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict is such a wonderfully complete wine that expresses all of the pedigree of this historic Sta. Rita Hills site. Sweet, perfumed aromatics and radiant fruit envelop the senses. Lemon confit, marzipan and white flowers are some of the many aromas and flavors that open in the glass. The S&B is the most forthcoming of the Sandhi Chardonnays. I loved it.
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The 2018 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict, sourced from the old, ungrafted vines, has pretty notes of pears, white blossoms, hazelnut and stone, with a silky, expansive palate that offers up an array of citrus, flowers, flint and nutty tones. It's tangy, salty and super bright and finishes long and uplifted. Lovely! Give it another 2-3 years in bottle unless you love that bright, youthful character.
Sandhi is a small production California winery focusing on select vineyards from the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. Sandhi was founded in 2010 by Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, and 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.
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.
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.