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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2008 Chardonnay
Sta. Rita Hills

2008 Chardonnay

Technical Details

100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Sanford & Benedict Vineyard

Production: 125 cases
Alcohol by volume: 15.0%
pH: 3.32
Titratable acidity: .58 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: two to four years
Bottle price: $28.00

The artistic forces behind the creation of wine blends surprise me as much as anyone. Such is the case with this vintage of Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay. For the first time our Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay is not a blend, since it is composed of only one vineyard source, Sanford & Benedict. This is a real treat for me and for the fans of our single vineyard Chardonnays that we produced in the late 90s from this famed vineyard.

The 2008 harvest season was relatively cool, which explains the late harvest date of October 16th. Some botrytis rot had developed in the grapes, which required great care during the selection process in the vineyard and in our cellar.

The wine has a pale straw gold color. The nose is a complex mix of apple and pear fruit aromas as well as earthy, chalky and nutty aromas. The aromas open up with 20 minutes or so of airing in the glass. The same can be said of the flavors which are initially subdued. The flavors are similar to the aromas. The wine has a chalky texture, but ends with a lingering and satisfying finish.

This is a tightly wound Chardonnay, in the tradition of a fine Chablis and will benefit from 2 to 4 years of additional bottle aging.

Serve with shellfish such as mussels and oysters, as well as seafood pasta dishes like clam linguini.

Rick Longoria, Winemaker
February 1, 2010

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