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Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE93
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2014 had an early spring and a wonderful, long summer with cool nights to help maintain great acidity in the grapes. Going into the Fall, temperatures cooled down quite a bit throughout the state, and the fruit was able to hang for a long period of time before harvest. This combination led to more complex flavors, while still maintaining the acidity to produce bright, focused wines.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
A 50-year-old plot on limestone soils at an elevation of 450 meters. The nose has a very glossy edge with butterscotch and lemon-dressed peach fruits. There's a chiseled feel to the palate. Really focused and punchy. Drink now.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Coming from a vineyard planted in 1973 at an elevation of 1,450 feet, the aromas draw you into the glass, with intoxicating notes of cream, ginger, pumpkin spice and chamomile. The palate possesses a creamy texture but also a sense of weightlessness that provides a lot of appeal. The balance is exquisite. Editors' Choice
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From limestone soils and very old vines (47-year-old), the 2014 Chardonnay Moxee Vineyard is 100% Chardonnay brought up all in barrel. Its medium gold color is followed by gorgeous notes of chamomile, lemon rind and spice. Rounded, layered and textured, it's a downright classy Chardonnay.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Sleek and harmonious, with vibrant apple and honeysuckle aromas and elegantly complex mineral, citrus and ginger flavors. Drink now through 2021.
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Sixto
Sixto, Columbia Valley, Washington
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SIXTO, the Chardonnay-only label from Charles Smith and Brennon Leighton. Inspired by the story of musician Sixto Rodriguez (featured in the acclaimed documentary "Searching for Sugar Man"), Charles similarly wanted to resurrect something that was always great, but was waiting to be rediscovered as in the old Chardonnay vines in Washington State. Being the sixth label that Charles has created (sextus translates to "sixth" in Latin), the name SIXTO was a perfect fit.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

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.

YNG211070_2014 Item# 355527