Richard Longoria Chardonnay

Our Wines / Chardonnay

For over thirty years we have sourced our Chardonnay grapes exclusively from vineyards within the Santa Rita Hills viticultural appellation. From my extensive years of experience, I have come to favor this cool climate region for providing the type of fruit that enables me to make a more European style of wine. Full barrel fermentation in 100% French oak barrels, partial malo-lactic conversion, and aging “sur lies” for almost one year are the techniques we employ. These practices yield wines with complexity and richness which we feel, combined with the vibrant minerality that comes naturally from the grapes, produce wines with the quality that characterizes world class Chardonnay.

The production of our Chardonnnays is very limited, and therefore the wines are primarily available through our tasting room or online store, with only very limited distribution elsewhere.

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2013 Chardonnay
Fe Ciega Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2013 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
100% Fe Ciega

Production: 66 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%
pH: 3.35
Titratable acidity: 0.72 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Two to four years
Bottle price: $50

The Premiere Release
We are proud to present our first bottling of Chardonnay from our estate vineyard, Fe Ciega. I planted this small block of less than an acre in 2008. I chose the Mt. Eden clone because of its rarity in our area and also because I've been impressed with wines I've tasted made from this clone.

The Harvest
The grapes were harvested on September 9th with a sugar content of 22.9 Brix and outstanding acidity. This was the third harvest from our young vines, and the first where I felt the quality was good enough to bottle as a vineyard designated wine.

Winemaking
As with all of our Chardonnays, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, settled for 24 hours, then the juice was racked to French oak barrels, of which just 18% were new. After fermenting in the barrels the wine aged sur lie for 10 months before being bottled in August 2014.

The Wine
The wine has a pale straw gold color with complex aromas of tapioca, brown sugar and vanilla cream. On the palate the wine has flavors of pears and spiced apples. The wine is medium bodied with higher acidity than normally found in California Chardonnay, which gives the wine a long, crisp and complex finish. We're very pleased with the quality of Chardonnay that our estate vineyard has produced and look forward to future vintages as the vines mature.

Food Pairings
This wine will pair well with a wide variety of food, including sea bass, lake trout and chicken dishes.

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2013 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana
Sta. Rita Hills

2013 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
51% Rita's Crown
25% Rancho Santa Rosa
24% Fe Ciega

Production: 188 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.8%
pH: 3.32
Titratable acidity: 0.67 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Four to six years
Bottle price: $45

Inspiration
Our finest blend of Chardonnay is named after my wife and winery partner, Diana. Using my 30 years of experience of working with Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay grapes, I created a blend that epitomizes the best of this world-class wine region.

Harvest
The harvest of 2013 began earlier than normal due to warm weather in late August. The grapes from the three component vineyards were harvested from September 3rd through September 9th, 2013. The average sugar content was 22.9 Brix with excellent levels of acidity.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The three wines aged sur lie for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling. Only 14% of the wine aged in new French oak barrels in an effort to let the varietal character take center stage without the intrusion of new oak flavors and aromas.

The Wine
The wine displays a medium gold color with aromas of apples, pears, cinnamon and nutmeg. On the palate the wine is rich and moderately viscous with flavors of apples and crème brûlée in the finish. The wine's excellent acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.

Food Pairings
This is an elegant wine with a rich texture and full flavors. It will pair well with a variety of foods, including full-flavored fish, lobster and roasted chicken.

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2013 Chardonnay
Rita's Crown Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2013 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Rita's Crown Vineyard

Production: 71 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%
pH: 3.25
Titratable acidity: 0.64g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $50

 

The Vineyard Site
This is our third vintage of Chardonnay from Rita’s Crown Vineyard, which is
quickly gaining acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir produced
from its fruit. We source from a small 1.5-acre block planted to clone 96 that is
situated on a steep south-facing slope containing rocky clay loam soil.
The Harvest
Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay
grapes ripen earlier than at our other sites. The grapes were harvested on
September 5th with a sugar content of 22.3 Brix.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours
before being transferred to a small egg-shaped fermenter and oak barrels for
fermentation. After a 10-day fermentation, the barrels were topped off and the
wine in the fermenter was racked to additional oak barrels to begin a 13-month
aging period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks
for the first 3 months to promote a richer mouth feel to the wine. Only 15% of
the wine was aged in new French oak barrels. None of the wine underwent
malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled on December 23, 2014.
The Wine
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas have a slight tropical
fruit aspect which develops in the glass to reveal aromas of creamed corn and
oatmeal. On the palate the wine has flavors of tapioca and citrus, which evolve
into lingering flavors of nuts, caramel and butterscotch on the finish. The medium
weight of the wine is perfectly balanced with crisp acidity.
Food Pairings
Enjoy this wine with a variety of shellfish and rich seafood such as grilled lobster
and sautéed scallops.

The Vineyard Site

 This is our third vintage of Chardonnay from Rita’s Crown Vineyard, which is quickly gaining acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir produced from its fruit. We source from a small 1.5-acre block planted to clone 96 that is situated on a steep south-facing slope containing rocky clay loam soil.

The Harvest

Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay grapes ripen earlier than at our other sites. The grapes were harvested on September 5th with a sugar content of 22.3 Brix.

Winemaking

 The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being transferred to a small egg-shaped fermenter and oak barrels for fermentation. After a 10-day fermentation, the barrels were topped off and the wine in the fermenter was racked to additional oak barrels to begin a 13-month aging period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks for the first 3 months to promote a richer mouth feel to the wine. Only 15% ofthe wine was aged in new French oak barrels. None of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled on December 23, 2014

The Wine

 The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas have a slight tropical fruit aspect which develops in the glass to reveal aromas of creamed corn and oatmeal. On the palate the wine has flavors of tapioca and citrus, which evolve into lingering flavors of nuts, caramel and butterscotch on the finish. The medium weight of the wine is perfectly balanced with crisp acidity.

Food Pairings

 Enjoy this wine with a variety of shellfish and rich seafood such as grilled lobster and sautéed scallops.

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2014 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana
Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega (39%) Rita’s Crown (28%) Kessler-Haak (20%) Zotovich (13%)

Production: 209 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%
pH: 3.32
Titratable acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $45

 

Inspiration
I’ve named our finest blend of Chardonnay after my wife and winery partner,
Diana. Drawing on my 30 years of experience with Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
grapes, I blend each vintage to epitomize this world-class wine region’s highest
quality Chardonnay.
Harvest
After one of the warmest growing seasons on record, the harvest at Rita’s Crown
Vineyard occurred on August 8, 2014, making this the earliest harvest in my career.
The remaining Chardonnay grapes were brought in during the last week of August,
at a relatively low average sugar content of 22.7 Brix and high levels of natural acidity.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before
being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wines produced from
each of the four vineyards aged separately for ten months before being blended
and prepared for bottling in August 2015. Just 20% of the wine for this blend was
aged in new barrels, and 20% underwent malo-lactic fermentation.
The Wine
The wine has a pale gold color, with tantalizing aromas of spiced pears, buttered
toast and crème brûlée. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with lean
flavors of green apple crisp, crème anglaise and a hint of sea salt. The wine’s
high acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.
Food Pairings
This elegant, richly textured wine will pair well with a variety of foods. I suggest
trying it with grilled fish with a lemon and breadcrumb crust, lobster with clarified
butter and roasted chicken with herbs.

Inspiration
I’ve named our finest blend of Chardonnay after my wife and winery partner, Diana. Drawing on my 30 years of experience with Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay grapes, I blend each vintage to epitomize this world-class wine region’s highest quality Chardonnay.

Harvest
After one of the warmest growing seasons on record, the harvest at Rita’s Crown Vineyard occurred on August 8, 2014, making this the earliest harvest in my career. The remaining Chardonnay grapes were brought in during the last week of August, at a relatively low average sugar content of 22.7 Brix and high levels of natural acidity.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wines produced from each of the four vineyards aged separately for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling in August 2015. Just 20% of the wine for this blend was aged in new barrels, and 20% underwent malo-lactic fermentation.

The Wine
The wine has a pale gold color, with tantalizing aromas of spiced pears, buttered toast and crème brûlée. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with lean flavors of green apple crisp, crème anglaise and a hint of sea salt. The wine’s high acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.

Food Pairings 
This elegant, richly textured wine will pair well with a variety of foods. I suggest trying it with grilled fish with a lemon and breadcrumb crust, lobster with clarified butter and roasted chicken with herbs.

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2014 Chardonnay
Fe Ciega Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega

Production: 43 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.49
Titratable acidity: 0.61 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: Two to four years
Bottle price: $50

History
In 2008, I chose to plant a small amount of the rare Mt. Eden clone of Chardonnay at Fe Ciega Vineyard because of the impressive wines I’ve tasted from this clone. This is my second Chardonnay release from this small planting of less than one acre.

The Harvest
The growing season of 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area.  As a result, we harvested the grapes on August 23rd, seventeen days earlier than in 2013. The grapes had a sugar content of 23.3 Brix and outstanding acidity.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation and aging. After 10 months I selected the barrels for this specific blend. Just 26% of the blend aged in new French oak barrels. I generally attempt to inhibit our Chardonnay from undergoing malo-lactic fermentation, but the Fe Ciega lot had a mind of its own and 74% of this blend underwent this secondary fermentation.

The Wine
The wine has a medium greenish gold color, with fragrant aromas of mushrooms sautéed in butter with a hint of pears in the background. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with earthy flavors in the mid-palate and spices in the finish. The wine’s high acidity provides a long lingering finish.

Food Pairings
This wine will pair well with a variety of foods, including sea bass, lake trout and chicken dishes.

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2014 Chardonnay
Rita's Crown Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Rita's Crown Vineyard

Production: 46 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.3%
pH: 3.27
Titratable acidity: 0.71 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Three to four years
Bottle price: $50

 

The Vineyard
Rita’s Crown Vineyard has quickly gained acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay
produced from its fruit. I source my grapes from a small 1.5 acre block planted to
the Dijon clone 96. The site is situated on a steep south-facing slope containing
rocky clay loam soil.
The Harvest
The growing season in 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area.
Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay
grapes ripened nearly four weeks earlier than the year before. The grapes were
harvested on August 8th, with a sugar content of 22.4 Brix.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours
before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. After a 23-day
fermentation, the barrels were consolidated and began an 11 month aging
period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks for
the first three months to promote a richer mouth feel. Just 20% of the wine
aged in new French oak barrels and it did not undergo malolactic fermentation.
The wine was bottled in August 2015.
The Wine
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas are an intriguing blend
of caramel, butterscotch, and Key Lime pie. On the palate, the wine is medium
bodied with expansive flavors of caramel apples and ends with a crisp,
refreshing finish.
Food Pairings
This elegant, crisp Chardonnay will pair well with a wide variety of food including

The Vineyard
Rita’s Crown Vineyard has quickly gained acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay produced from its fruit. I source my grapes from a small 1.5 acre block planted to the Dijon clone 96. The site is situated on a steep south-facing slope containing rocky clay loam soil.

The Harvest
The growing season in 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area. Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay grapes ripened nearly four weeks earlier than the year before. The grapes were harvested on August 8th, with a sugar content of 22.4 Brix.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. After a 23-day fermentation, the barrels were consolidated and began an 11 month aging period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks for the first three months to promote a richer mouth feel. Just 20% of the wine aged in new French oak barrels and it did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled in August 2015.

The Wine
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas are an intriguing blend of caramel, butterscotch, and Key Lime pie. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with expansive flavors of caramel apples and ends with a crisp,refreshing finish.

Food Pairings
This elegant, crisp Chardonnay will pair well with a wide variety of food including fish, shellfish and dishes such as clam linguini.

 

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2015 Chardonnay
Sta. Rita Hills

2015 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Zotovich (63%) Kessler-Haak (16%) Fe Ciega (12%) Rita’s Crown (9%)

Production: 54 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.5
pH: 3.29
Titratable acidity: 0.72 g/100ml.
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $32

 

The Harvest
2015 followed 2014 with another early harvest. On August 12th we began
picking at the four different vineyards that we use for our Sta. Rita Hills bottling.
Our last pick was on September 2nd, and despite some hot weather, I was able to
harvest the grapes at our desired lower sugar levels. The average Brix was 22.0
with high levels of acidity.
The Wine
The wine has a straw gold color of medium intensity. The aroma is a blend of
apples and pears, and a hint of corn meal in the background. On the palate the
wine is medium bodied with a rich texture. The flavors are of apples and pears
with an added nuance of lemon custard. The high acidity creates a lingering
finish that is clean and crisp.
Winemaking
The entire grape lots were whole cluster pressed, and the juice settled for at least
24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels to ferment. The juice was
inoculated with a yeast culture and fermentation lasted an average of 14 days. The
wines aged in the same French oak barrels for 10 months prior to being blended
and bottled in August 2016. Only 15% of this wine was aged in new barrels.
Food Pairings
This elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay will accompany a wide variety of foods,
including sweet corn bisque, roasted chicken and white fish sautéed in butter.

The Harvest
2015 followed 2014 with another early harvest. On August 12th we began picking at the four different vineyards that we use for our Sta. Rita Hills bottling. Our last pick was on September 2nd, and despite some hot weather, I was able to harvest the grapes at our desired lower sugar levels. The average Brix was 22.0 with high levels of acidity.

Winemaking
The entire grape lots were whole cluster pressed, and the juice settled for at least 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels to ferment. The juice was inoculated with a yeast culture and fermentation lasted an average of 14 days. The wines aged in the same French oak barrels for 10 months prior to being blended and bottled in August 2016. Only 15% of this wine was aged in new barrels.

The Wine
The wine has a straw gold color of medium intensity. The aroma is a blend of apples and pears, and a hint of corn meal in the background. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with a rich texture. The flavors are of apples and pears with an added nuance of lemon custard. The high acidity creates a lingering finish that is clean and crisp.

Food Pairings
This elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay will accompany a wide variety of foods, including sweet corn bisque, roasted chicken and white fish sautéed in butter.

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