Sea Smoke Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills


Our estate-grown Chardonnay fruit was picked and hand-sorted in the vineyard before spending the night in our cold room. Chilled grapes were softly pressed and the juice was gently pumped into a stainless steel tank and cold settled. Once the heavy solids were removed, the juice was racked to both French oak barrels and a stainless steel fermentor, then inoculated for primary fermentation. Following primary fermentation, the wine was inoculated for malolactic fermentation and barrels were periodically stirred to enhance depth and mouthfeel. The 2012 Sea Smoke Chardonnay was aged for a total of 16 months prior to bottling.

This wine from one of the appellation’s most coveted producers smells fresh, with white flowers, slightly sweet white peach, lemon rinds and brie cheese rind. It’s laser-focused on the tart, somewhat bitter palate, and slowly unfurls into flavors of pomelo juice and lime pith, warming up toward cream the longer it is opened. This has a long life in front of it, so drink 2018–2025. Score: 92 points — Wine Enthusiast

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