2010 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light gold. Musky, spice-accented aromas of pear, melon and honeysuckle, with a strong note of toasty lees. Smoky and broad but vibrant, with impressive depth to its orchard and citrus fruit flavors. Spicy and precise on the impressively long finish, which strongly echoes the smoke and floral notes.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Juicy apricots, pears, flowers and a hint of spices are woven together in this beautifully layered Chardonnay. Brewer-Clifton’s 2010 Chardonnay is a great wine for the money and an equally fabulous introduction to the house style. The fruit sources are Mt. Carmel, Sweeney Canyon, 3-D, Gnesa and a touch of Zotovich. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. 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.
To create a snapshot of the vintage in the Sta. Rita Hills appelation, Brewer Clifton selects lots from the Mount Carmel, 3-D, Gnesa, Sea Smoke, and Zotovich vineyards. Each site contributes different expressions of the appelation and are blended to present a harmonious finished wine. From the winery: "Rich aromas of lemon, kiwi, orange blossom and sweet basil are followed by a more precise flavor profile of jasmine, lime and ginger. Extremely taut, focused and dry palate impression."