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Sandhi Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • RP90
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

The fruit for this bottling comes from our sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez appellations. The average age of most of the vines is over 30 years old from specific parcels of Wente selection that we are lucky to access. We are pleased with this entry-level offering because it is a great introduction to the style of our wines. It will always have pretty aromas of citrus flowers and fruit notes of limes and lemons along with toasty notes from oak. On the palate it will have good structure and plenty of restraint and balance making it a very food-friendly and approachable wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County reveals aromas of poached pear, smoke, grapefruit pith and peach kernel, framed by light reduction. On the palate, it's glossily textural and medium-bodied, with succulent and lovely balance. Structurally quite open-knit, this is the most accessible of Sandhi's Chardonnays. Drawing on a number of old-vine parcels across Santa Barbara County, this cuvée also benefits from the later press fractions from single-vineyard bottlings.
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Sandhi

Sandhi

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Sandhi, Santa Maria Valley, 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.

Santa Maria Valley

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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.

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.

SKRCSX071_2015 Item# 384485