2010 Brewer-Clifton "Sweeney Canyon" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1125213 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid yellow-gold. High-pitched aromas of fresh orchard fruits, minerals, honeysuckle and white pepper show serious power and focus. Deep, palate-staining and precise, with impressive thrust to its pear and Meyer lemon flavors. Picks up smoke and iodine qualities with air, along with suggestions of licorice and chamomile. Rich but lively and incisive, with superb finishing clarity and lingering florality. This just refuses to let up, which is no problem for me. Wow!  (11/2011)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay Sweeney Canyon is a rich, deep wine that stands apart from the rest of the Chardonnays in this lineup. Dried pears, apricots, dried flowers and spices flesh out in a rich, voluptuous Chardonnay. The aromas and flavors are a bit more forward than in the rest of these Chardonnays. Ultimately the Sweeney Canyon comes across as a touch heavy next to the other wines in this lineup. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

Vintage detail from Wine Advocate: "Steve Clifton describes the 2010 harvest as 2-3 weeks later than normal. The Pinots were brought in during the second and third weeks of September, in between the heat spikes, while the Chardonnays were harvested later, once temperatures cooled off . The 2010s are beautiful, transparent wines that capture the essence of the vintage and their respective sites. The single-vineyard wines can be hard to track down, but to tell the truth, I am increasingly drawn to the straight appellation Chardonnay and Pinot, as they are less expensive, relatively easy to find and full of personality."

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Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/27/2013 | Send Email
The most opulent of the Brewer Clifton Chardonnays. Super rich in style, yet with a bright, lively character and an adroitness that belies its size. A powerful focused effort that can be enjoyed now or over the next few years.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2013 | Send Email
This is another solid chardonnay from Brewer Clifton with plenty of ripe pear and citrus fruit. The acidity really shows in this wine, which lends plenty of power and focus. Very floral and spicy.

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.