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Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • WE89
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3.7 8 Ratings
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3.7 8 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The grapes for this wine come from a variety of vineyards that Winemaker Bruce McGuire has selected over the years for their quality and consistency. Many are from the same blocks year after year. Cool climate Chardonnay is balanced with those from warmer vineyards.

All the grapes were pressed as whole clusters with 67% of the wine fermented in stainless steel tanks. The remaining 33% was barrel fermented and underwent malolactic fermentation. The barrelled wine was aged 'sur lie' and its lees regularly stirred to impart flavor and complexity.

The result is a wine that is bright and flavorful with a great deal of fruit intensity. We consider this our trademark Chardonnay, a wine we have consistently produced year after year.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Offers rich white fruit and spice flavors, supported by bright acidity. Green apple, fig and ripe melon notes dominate on the palate, mixing with buttery accents and ending with hints of sage honey on the finish. Drink now through 2023.
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Santa Barbara Winery

Santa Barbara Winery

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Santa Barbara Winery, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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In 1962, Pierre Lafond re-established Santa Barbara County's winemaking tradition by founding Santa Barbara Winery. The winery was the first since prohibition and is part of an association that has grown to 40 wineries located in Santa Barbara County. In the early years, Pierre made wine from purchased fruit, but soon realized the potential for premium wine made from Santa Barbara County grapes. In 1971, he purchased land in the western Santa Ynez Valley and began planting what is now a 95 acre vineyard. Today, annual production is around 32,000 cases.

Bruce McGuire was working as a winemaker in the Sacramento Delta in 1981 when Pierre Lafond invited him to take over the winemaking operation at Santa Barbara Winery. Since then, the winery has produced world class red and white wines. Bruce's winemaking philosophy begins in the vineyard. He believes the quality and integrity of the wine is inextricably linked to what happens in the field — from the pruning in the winter, to the harvest in the autumn.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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.

MSW30201997_2016 Item# 370086