2008 Three Saints Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1077109

93 points and one of Wine & Spirits 100 Best Buys of 2011: "The Dierbergs select the top fruit from their estate vineyard for their Dierberg Chardonnay, producing Three Saints from the balance, including the press fractions (Dierberg is only free run juice). Plebian that I am, I liked them both equally, though for different reasons. Here the vineyard's coastal influence shows in a beach-grass scent, a hint of kelp under kumquat and orange flavors. The finish brings fruit and a gentle hint of oak layered with a soil-like impression - a deep, cool minerality that lasts. Decant it for roast fish." (10/11) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light yellow. Slightly reduced aromas of pear skin, mango and smoke, with a hint of anise. Brighter with air, offering tangy lemon and green apple flavors and a touch of white pepper. Juicy and a touch sweet on the finish, which leaves a lush melon note behind." (Nov/Dec 10) And from Wine Spectator: "The wine captures the high-toned aromatics, built around fresh flowers, citrus blossom, tangerine and nectarine. Pure, ripe and juicy. Drink now through 2014." (06/11)

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Price: $14.99
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Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/6/2011 | Send Email
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A few days ago we tasted through a long domestic wine tasting that featured about 10 Chardonnays from Napa, Sonoma, Oregon & Washington. They ranged in price from $12 to $40 and the 2008 Three Saints Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay was my favorite. It easily out-classed several Chardonnays that were 2-3 times as expensive. The Three Saints shows remarkable balance, with nice, bright fruit, hints of subtle oak and good acidity all which allow the wine to display depth and power without seeming clumsy or clunky. If you're searching for a great value in Chardonnay, the 2008 Three Saints is hard to beat.
Drink from 2011 to 2013

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 (%): 14.1