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Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2014

  • WW92
  • WE91
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay comes exclusively from the two estate vineyards in the heart of this cool climate appellation. By gently whole cluster pressing and barrel fermentation in French oak, this Chardonnay has lovely texture to balance the vibrant palate. The 2013 estate Chardonnay offers intriguing aromas of lemon peel, apricot and toasted hazelnut. In addition to the bright fruit, this wine has aromas of white flowers. On the palate the minerality and acidity give this wine great structure, which carries through its long finish. This full bodied wine has nice acidity to keep it in balance.

Pairs with most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes and excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Well-integrated and attractive, the full-flavored 2014 Sanford Chardonnay showcases the well-recognized AVA of Sta. Rita Hills. This wine exhibits substantial richness all the way and around. Its ripe citrus, rich oak, and lively mineral notes pair it well with rich shellfish dishes. (Tasted: April 14, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Sweet lemon blossoms and fresh-pressed tangerines provide the juicy core to the nose on this appellation blend, which gains aromatic complexity from the sharper orange rind and slate minerality. Sea salt and Meyer-lemon flavors meet with white peach on the palate, which is framed by a chalky grip and is very mouth-watering.
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Sanford

Sanford Winery

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Sanford Winery, 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.
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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.

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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.

CGM31522_2014 Item# 152990