2012 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Chardonnay

SKU #1143185 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2012 Chardonnay has outstanding potential, with pretty white peach, flowers and citrus nuances as well as a balanced mouthfeel. Showing good mid-palate depth and juicy acidity, it should drink nicely for 4-5 years. Drink 2014-2017.  (8/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (94% of the fruit drawn from the Bien Nacido vineyard and the rest from Presqu'ile vineyard; 80% aged in tank and 20% in French oak): Pale yellow. Incisive citrus and orchard fruit aromas are given depth by notes of licorice and sweet butter. Dry and tightly focused, even a bit austere, offering tangy lemon pith and quince flavors and a touch of bitter herbs. Finishes on a dry, minerally note, with persistent anise and pear skin qualities. I like this wine's fat-free character but suspect that some might find it a tad lean.  (12/2013)

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Price: $23.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/25/2014 | Send Email
very well put together, owning to the excellent fruit source and well thought out wine making. Particularly well structured with racy acids and bright fresh minerality. The subtle use of barrel during fermentation adds depth and richness.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2014 | Send Email
Pure, clean Chardonnay fruit with lots of apple and citrus fruit. This has really nice weight. Unadulterated Chardonnay, it's what we should all be drinking.

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