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Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • RP92
  • ST91
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Winemaker Notes

This 2010 special bottling comes from Sanford's two best blocks (Wente and Clone 15), and are whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented. With the traditional Burgundian technique of lees stirring and barrel aging, this wine has developed richness and elegance sought after in fine Chardonnay. Intense but balanced, this flagship Chardonnay has aromas of pineapple, lemon zest and hazelnut, with hints of vanilla. On the palate this wine shows the classic Santa Rita qualities of minerality and crisp acid to balance the full palate.

Critical Acclaim

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

A big step up, with fantastic purity and definition on both the nose and palate, the 2010 Chardonnay La Rinconada boasts classy, mineral-laced aromas of crisp apple, brioche, white flowers and fresh creme on the nose. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, seamless and beautifully pure palate that has outstanding length and grip. Enjoy this beauty over the coming 3-4 years. Drink now-2017.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Light yellow. Ripe pear, vanilla and anise on the fragrant, smoke-accented nose. A touch of honey adds depth and sweetness to intense orchard fruit and vanilla flavors, with a spicy element contributing lift. Finishes spicy and very long, with an echo of iodine and impressive clarity.

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Sanford Winery

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Sanford Winery, , California
Sanford
In Santa Barbara wine country, it all started with Sanford Winery. Recognizing a magical combination of climate and soil conditions, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard was plated in 1971, and the resulting wines are now the benchmark of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Pinot Noir has thrived in the Sta. Rita Hills ever since, and ranks among the best and most distinctive in the world. Sanford's estate vineyards - Rancho La Rinconada... View More

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.