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Flat front label of wine

Sanford Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • WE89
  • WS87
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2.0 1 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

"A lovely Chard, filled with crisp acids and steely, stoney minerals. The fruit flavors suggest powerfully ripened tropical fruits, and there's a bracing overlay of oak. Notable for its balance and integrity."
-Wine Enthusiast

Our Chardonnay is a barrel fermented blend from all three of our estate vineyards in Santa Rita Hills. Bruno uses mostly seasoned barrels to give the wine a fresh fruit-driven presence without a lot of heavy oak. This is a balanced, elegant and versatile wine that has served as a Santa Barbara benchmark for over 20 years.

Up-front aromas of lemon, vanilla, butter and honey lead to more subtle notes of flowers, nutmeg, and white pepper in this crisp, fresh 2002 Chardonnay. Oak aromas are restrained, and fruit flavors of tart apples and essense of pineapple shine through, finishing with a hint of crème bruleé. Its firm structure can handle rich poultry dishes, cheeses, grilled seafood, and creamy pastas.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
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Sanford

Sanford Winery

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Sanford Winery, Central Coast, California
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In Santa Barbara wine country, it all started with Sanford Winery. Recognizing a magical combination of climate and soil conditions, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard was plated in 1971, and the resulting wines are now the benchmark of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Pinot Noir has thrived in the Sta. Rita Hills ever since, and ranks among the best and most distinctive in the world. Sanford's estate vineyards - Rancho La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict - lie within the 100 square mile AVA, and they rely exclusively on these vineyards for their luscious, signature Pinot Noir. The area owes its magic to an unusual east-west mountain valley that runs from the vineyards to the Pacific Ocean; ideal for cool-climate varietals.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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.

EMP9905_2002 Item# 80704