2005 Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1041701

93 points Robert Parker: "Another brilliant effort is the 2005 Chardonnay Clos Pepe. Hazelnut, orange rind, lemon zest, and brioche characteristics are found in this crisp, elegant Chardonnay that could pass for a full-bodied French Chablis. With fine acidity, fruit, and concentration, it will drink well for 3-4 years." (08/07) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "A spectacular Chard, massive and pure in laser-focused Meyer lemon, Key lime pie, papaya, pepper and smoky vanilla flavors, with the most bracing minerality, a real lick of gunmetal. Brilliant now, and the firm structure should let it age smoothly for a good six years." (05/08) 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Green-tinted yellow. Leesy nectarine and orange pith scents are reined in by talc-y minerality and fresh herbs. Firm and focused, offering juicy citrus flavors and good spicy cut. Fleshy but restrained on the long, spicy finish. This has excellent cling." (Nov/Dec '07) 90 points Allen Meadows' Burghound: "(From Sta Rita Hills fruit and bottled at 14%). It's relatively rare to taste any CA chardonnay that rises above the banal but this is one that deserves your attention as it's not over oaked, it's not obviously acidified, it's not excessively alcoholic and there is sufficient balance and flavor delineation that it will work well with many, if not all foods, plus it's delicious and culminates in a harmonious, sappy and tangy finish." (10/07)

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Price: $38.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.