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2015 Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
SANTA RITA HILLS AVA | SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
This Chardonnay was grown on three sites in the Santa Rita Hills, showing minerality and fresh acidity. Lemon curd and oyster shell salinity dominate the aroma of the wine. A creamy texture, enhanced by the malolactic fermentation, gives way to and long and rich finish punctuated by flavors of toasted almonds and barrel spice. This is a wine that combines the tangy acids of a Chablis-like wine with the ripeness and texture of a more full and rounded chardonnay.
The longtime Rhône variety-focused winery is expanding into Burgundian varieties, and this first Chardonnay is a solid start. Aromas of lime, white melon, wet stone and a touch of guava lean toward a richer expression. The palate is rounded with clotted cream, salt and lemon zest flavors, balancing between the buttery Californian and tenser Old World styles. — Matt Kettmann