Sandhi Chardonnay 2013

Sandhi Chardonnay 2013


On the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard:

Planted in 1971 by the pioneering Richard Sanford, this site is largely synonymous with the creation of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Tucked into the southeastern corner of the Sta. Rita Hills with north-facing blocks, this vineyard is planted on hard, silica gravel and well-drained soils. Our rows come from the oldest blocks on Mount Eden (widely considered to be some of the first cuttings brought into California) where the vine trunks are gnarled, producing small amounts of beautiful, concentrated and textured fruit.

From a cellar approach, we go to great lengths to protect the vibrancy, freshness and energy that makes wines from the Santa Rita Hills so unique. All wines are wild-­yeast fermented. We prefer neutral barrel and concrete vessels but do employ a small amount of new French oak. All Chardonnays go through malo­lactic but the lees are not stirred or re-­suspended. Press cycles are also slower and longer to preserve the fresh floral aromatics. All white wines go through a light fining and filtration.

We are continuously reminded of the wisdom of old vines every time we bottle another vintage from the 1971 plantings at Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Slightly less susceptible to vintage variation than our other sites, the 2015 vintage is classic in its ability to join the bright, lifted notes of citrus with warmer, rounder aromas of apple and spice. The palate demonstrates a combination of purity and generosity only achievable through vines of an advanced age. 

The wine is aromatically complex with notes of ripe Meyer lemon, key lime, dried ginger and rain on cement - with subtle hints of jasmine and fresh mint. The complexity of the old vines is most evident on the palate with the warmth of sea salt, caviar-esque minerality and herbs. The broad, exotic, and persistent texture carry this full and restrained wine to its finish.

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