Santa Barbara County
For the second year in a row the weather was fine and the vines responded with a huge crop of grapes. To get the best quality we trimmed and thinned that crop, but it didn’t seem to make any difference, in almost every vineyard the quantity harvested was way above expectations. And while this can theoretically be troubling for quality—overtaxing the vines can lead to dilute wines—it didn’t work that way in 2014. Instead, we got in grapes that produced wines with lots of character that are both easygoing and delicious!
The vintage was so positive that the wines we selected for our single vineyard designated chardonnays were only fractionally better than what went into this Santa Barbara County blend—which means the price to quality ratio here is excellent. The blend is Solomon Hills from the cool western edge of Santa Maria Valley, and Puerta del Mar, our newest and coolest vineyard that is located just outside of Lompoc.
This wine was barrel fermented, completed the malo-lactic fermentation and barrel aged on the lees until bottling. It is precocious, and yet there is a real intensity that makes it a fascinating wine to drink. Mind you, this isn’t like your mom’s oaky chardonnay—our style here is fresh and zesty!
Blend: 53% Puerta Del Mar and 47% Solomon Hills Chardonnay | Alc: 13.0% | Vinification: Barrel Fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 9 Months | Total Production: 343 cases
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2014 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County) is an attractive appellation-level wine with lovely regional and varietal character. Lemon peel, almonds, chamomile and sweet herbal notes are all nicely melded together. The 2014 finishes with lovely palate presence and overall textural finesse. This polished, impeccably crafted Chardonnay should drink well for the next few years.” – AG