Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Composed of a blend of several vineyards, the 2019 Chardonnay Uncovered is marked with much of the same style as the rest of the range. Starting with a golden yellow hue, the wine is shy in the glass with elements of almond pastries, wax melon and lemon peel. Medium to full-bodied, the weight of the wine is lively with a firm mineral tension; it is still tight right now and will show better with additional time in a bottle. The wine glides to a complex and unwinding finish with lasting flavors of marshmallow and lemon pith.
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.
An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington ranks second in production in the U.S. after California. Washington wines continue to gain well-deserved popularity as they garner higher and higher praise from critics and consumers alike.
Washington winemakers draw inspiration mainly from Napa Valley, Bordeaux and the Rhône as well as increasingly from other regions like Spain and Italy. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state—an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Irrigation is made possible by the Columbia River. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.
Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite having been overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Bordeaux blends and Rhône blends are common as well as single varietal bottlings. Washington reds tend to express a real purity of concentrated fruit. The best examples have a bold richness, seamless texture, plush or powdery tannins and flavors such as licorice, herb, forest floor, espresso and dark chocolate.
In terms of white wine from Washington state, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.