2008 Stephen Ross "Bien Nacido Vineyards" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $30)

SKU #1085298 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Lots to like in this Chardonnay. It's enormously rich in pineapple, mango and lemon meringue pie flavors, with vanilla and buttered toast from oak. Shows the smooth dryness and crisp acidity of Bien Nacido. A rich, savory wine to drink now.  (5/2011)

Wine Spectator

 Sleek, intense, pure and focused, with a mix of elegant citrus-infused green apple and honeysuckle flavors. Full-bodied and clean on the finish. Drink now through 2014. (Web-2010)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/28/2012 | Send Email
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This is a Chardonnay that really offers something for everyone. From one of my favorite vineyards in CA, Bien Nacido, in the cool, coastal influenced, Santa Maria Valley, this wine shows a nice bright acid component backed up by considerable rich orchard fruit with some more tropical notes. The wine also shows some toasty notes from barrel but these never overpower the other subtleties this wine possesses. Very well done.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/31/2012 | Send Email
Any wine label that says "Bien Nacido Vineyards" on it always gets my attention. This cool climate site in Santa Maria Valley produces extraordinary Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. This 2008 vintage Chardonnay from Stephen Ross Wine Cellars has something for everyone. Perfectly balanced, it offers richness and weight yet remains bright and lively on the palate. An excellent value sure to please just about everyone.

Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/15/2012 | Send Email
I had this wine the other night with cauliflower au gratin and cast iron skillet chicken and it was the best pairing of a domestic Chardonnay I've had in a long time. This is a ton of wine for the price! The famous Bien Nacido Vineyard really delivers all the layers of fruit, minerality, acid, and richness on the palate that you would expect from such a highly respected vineyard. White Burgundy undertones are expressed with the balance and elegance of this wine!

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/14/2012 | Send Email
Boy do I taste a lot of Chardonnay! A lot of it is purely bad, a bit less is simply mediocre. There are just a few that are spectacular. When I tasted this Stephen Ross "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Chardonnay I thought, "Wow, this is really a crowd pleaser!" I didn't think that because it was overblown and super buttery, or had gobs of unresolved oak, which it seems is what more and more people want these days in their Chards. I thought that because it was just a wonderfully balanced wine with great richness, weight, and fruit, ending in a pretty high note of saline and peach flesh. If you like some heft in your Domestic Chardonnay but still need balance, this is certainly the Chard for you.

Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/14/2012 | Send Email
One of the best domestic Chardonnay's I have had in awhile! Very rich and intensely concentrated, this wine still manages to glide across the pallet with a racy, clean, vibrant mouth feel. The balance and structure of this wine soaks up the oak, similar to a great white burgundy. Excellent buy for the money!
Drink from 1012 to 2015

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5