2018 La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay
Sta. Rita Hills
Sta. Rita Hills
The maritime influence is apparent in the expressive aromas that open with flint and brioche, followed by white peach, honeysuckle, lime peel, fennel and quince. The resulting wine is a beautiful expression of place, exhibiting flavors of roasted lemon, nectarine and wildflower honey, with hints of lightly toasted oak adding layers of richness and complexity. The creamy, yet mineral-laden palate is balanced by pinpoint acidity, and accentuated by an oily viscosity that lingers on the palate long after the wine is gone.
In 1971 Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict took a chance on a spring fed farm on the north facing slopes of the east west traversing Santa Ynez River on California’s Central Coast and planted what became Sanford & Benedict Vineyards to Pinot Noir. Planted in 1997, the La Rinconada Vineyard sits adjacent to Sanford & Benedict, and contains 12 clones within 20 vineyard blocks. La Rinconada is primarily planted to Pinot Noir, but is complemented by some very special Chardonnay vines. The success of these sites depends on the maritime influences of the Pacifc Ocean. The movement of fog and cooling winds up valley and the soil, a living medium of minerals and organic material, is quite unique to this growing region. A byproduct of receding seas, river-deposited particles, landslides and the slow weathering of ancient stone, which in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA includes shale, serpentine, and sandstone. The lower portion of La Rinconada sits on sandy loam, but transitions to clay loam, diatomaceous earth and shale on the hills closer to Sanford & Benedict.