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