2012 Fess Parker "Ashley's Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1156825 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This brilliant wine is dry and tart in acidity, minerally, and supremely refined in Meyer lemons, pears, limes and tart apples. It’s not one of those fat Chardonnays that melts in the mouth, but instead has firm texture and elegant complexity. It makes a beautiful accompaniment to grilled salmon, crab cakes, or a simple but glorious roasted chicken. Don’t drink it too cold.  (4/2014)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More rich, classy and layered, the 2012 Chardonnay Ashley's offers thrilling notes of ripe apples, honey blossom, white flower and toasted bread that flow to a layered, balanced white that has bright, yet integrated, acidity and a terrific finish. Spending 10 months in 35% new French oak and coming all from the Rancho Las Hermanas Vineyard, it will evolve nicely for 4-5 years. This lineup, made by Blair Fox, is packed with outstanding wines. Most represent superb values.  (8/2014)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Underneath this Chardonnay’s generous red apple fruit, there’s a mouthwatering intensity that feels pure and coastal. It’s a fashionable take on the Santa Rita Hills, surrounding the coastal salinity that makes the region’s chardonnay so appealing with a girth that feels luxurious and polished. Think of it as a pleasant gateway to the region’s more angular charms.  (6/2014)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale gold. Smoky citrus fruit and pear aromas, with notes of earthy truffle and iodine adding complexity. In an Old-World style, offering musky pear skin and orange pith flavors and a hint of honey that adds depth and sweetness. Finishes on a smoky, leesy note, with very good energy and persistence.  (12/2013)

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Price: $21.99
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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.