2012 Sandhi Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

SKU #1144223 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The entry level effort, and a fine one at that, Sandhi’s 2012 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County is the estate’s largest production release, with anywhere from 5,000-6,000 cases produced. Coming mostly from old vines and vineyards spread throughout Santa Barbara County, it’s always barrel-fermented and then aged 8 months in barrel before being moved to tank prior to bottling. It’s a classic Chardonnay that offers notions of stone fruits, spice, white flowers and tinges of brioche to go with a medium-bodied, juicy, lively and clean profile on the palate. I love the purity here, and this is an excellent value that will shine for 2-3 years, if not longer. (JD)  (8/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Very juicy, fun and classy. Really refined. Open and lovely on the nose already but there is still a little chewiness on the finish and I don't think there is a desperate hurry to drink this up.  (4/2014)


 Sandhi's 2012 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County is a soft, pretty wine to drink now and over the next few years. Dried pears, hazelnut, spice and almond notes meld together in a supple, open Chardonnay. The easygoing vintage has produced an unusually ripe, open Chardonnay by Sandhi standards. (AG)  (7/2014)

K&L Notes

Sandhi is a collabortive project between Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, Charles Banks, who used to own such acclaimed wineries as Jonata and Screaming Eagle, and acclaimed winemaker Sashi Moorman, so you can imagine what's in the bottle is something pretty special. Moorman goes through great lengths to preserve the wine's freshness and energy by fermenting with wild yeasts in neutral oak or concrete, and while the wines go through malo, there's no lees stirring, and the wines are bottle unfined and unfiltered.

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Price: $23.99
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Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/4/2014 | Send Email
Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr have hit it out of the park with this outstanding expression of Santa Barbara County Chardonnay. Long on ripe pear and apple flavors there is a vibrancy to the wine that lingers on the palate. Dare I say mineral? Having recently tasted their '13s out of barrel, I can say without a doubt there are many great things to come from this duo.

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 (%): 13