2009 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1067478 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Chardonnay shows lovely balance in its bright citrus fruit and sweet spices. This is a relatively tight, focused style of Chardonnay that impresses for its energy, focus and overall sense of harmony. The fruit was sourced from the Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills vineyards. The wine was aged on its lees in roughly equal parts oak and steel, with 50% of malolactic fermentation. It is a terrific value in California Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014. These are two gorgeous wines from Alta Maria Vineyards, a project headed by James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins.  (8/2011)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 No Chardonnay in California is richer or riper than this. It detonates on the palate with an explosion of pineapples, green apples, tangerines, apricots, honey, butterscotch and dusty cinnamon spices. Acidity is pretty and zesty. Would benefit from great subtlety, but it sure is opulent.  (9/2011)

K&L Notes

Alta Maria is the brainchild of viticulturist and winemaker James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins, friends first, and now collaborators. Half the fruit for their small-production Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (820 cases) goes through malolatic fermentation, giving this wine a custardy, rich California Chard mid palate while still providing plenty of food-friendly acidity. Green apple, melon, Ojai Pixie and hay aromas give way to a palate with anise, lavender, cinnamon and butterscotch flavors to balance the plush fruit. Delicious.

Share |
Price: $22.99
Add To Waiting List

Real Time Inventory by location:

The item you have chosen is not in stock in our retail stores or within our main warehouse.

Product turnaround time varies by location of inventory and your chosen method of shipping/pickup. For a detailed explanation click here.

Product Reviews:

Add your own review of this item

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/25/2011 | Send Email
Pretty, with a tiny hint of oak. Citrus fruit, floral, great clean acid in the finish. Nicely layered and easy to drink!

Additional Information:



- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.6