' Ken Brown - Wines

2021 Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Chardonnay

94 Points - Wine Enthusiast  Our first Chardonnay from Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Rich and complex with flavors of tangerine and apricot.
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$50.00 per Bottle


In typical Sanford & Benedict fashion, this Chardonnay displays both intensity and sophistication. The nose offers rich aromas of lemon curd and fresh-cut straw, with hints of wet stone and vanilla. The creamy mouthfeel gives way to flavors of tangerine and pink lady apples. Mid-palette flavors of ripe apricots are followed by a touch of crème brulee on the finish. Subtle acidity and a luxurious texture make this a wine to savor alongside sauteed chantarelles or a rich, hearty risotto.

Vineyard Notes

100% Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay. This vineyard is the cradle of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation and played a significant role in bringing recognition to the great potential of the region. Planted by Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict in 1971, wines produced from this vineyard continue to set the highest quality standards. This Chardonnay hails from vines planted to clone 4 (40%) and the renowned Wente clone (60%). The soil is the Botella Series, a composition of both clay and loam with a high calcareous content, which drains well and helps keep yields low.

Production Notes

Sta. Rita Hills experienced an unseasonably cool growing season in 2021, pushing back vineyard development and ripening by an average of two weeks. Our harvest kicked off on September 8, then stalled for two weeks while grapes continued to ripen. Harvest continued well into October concluding with the harvest of Radian Pinot Noir on October 18. The long hang time has encouraged excellent flavor development, complexity and concentration. The Chardonnay was harvested on October 12th.

Winemaker Notes

The grapes were handpicked and gently pressed as whole clusters. After settling in tank for 24 hours, the juice was racked to 60-gallon French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was 100% barrel fermented with a mixture of native and selected yeasts. It then completed 100% malo-lactic fermentation. It aged sur lie for 10 months in French oak, including 33% new barrels. The wine was bottled on July 28, 2022
Vintage 2021
Wine Style White Wine
Varietal 100% Chardonnay
Appellation Sta. Rita Hills
Acid 3.3 g/l
PH 6.75
Alcohol % 14.1
Size 750 ml