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Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS88
  • WE87
14.5% ABV
  • WW92
  • WE91
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Our 2009 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay comes from our two estate vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict. The 2009 vintage was low yielding and balanced, resulting from near perfect growing conditions. This produced intense, but elegant wines with great structure. This hand harvested, barrel fermented chardonnay shows intriguing aromas of citrus and lychee nut. In addition to the lovely fruit, this wine has complex characters of roasted nuts and minerality that carries through its long finish. This full bodied wine has nice acidity to keep it in balance and makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes an excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chantrelles and morels).

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 88
Wine Spectator
Fresh and lively, offering citrus-infused stone fruit flavors, with touches of white peach and flowers. Medium- to full-bodied, with a clean finish. Drink now through 2015. 8,508 cases made.
WE 87
Wine Enthusiast
Lots of sweet, smoky oak on this wine, with flavors of pineapples, peaches, limes, vanilla and honey. It's balanced with crisp acidity. Drink now.
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Sanford

Sanford Winery

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Sanford Winery, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, 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.

Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of Californian wine beloved by Burgundy fans, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, western most sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation in 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, grapes ripen just enough, retaining brisk acidity and demonstrating saline minerality 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’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.

FED35924_2009 Item# 109683