2013 Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates "Camelot Highlands" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1275579 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Other Chardonnays include the more mineral, Meursault-like 2013 Chardonnay Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands from Santa Maria. This shows notes of hazelnuts, caramelized citrus fruit, a hint of match sticks and wet rocks. It is a complex, Burgundian style of Chardonnay that is completely different than the other wines from Kendall-Jackson. In some extremist circles it is fashionable to criticize anything that’s big and successful (Kendall-Jackson is both of those). This winery, in addition to the massive quantities of some of their less expensive wines, which deliver terrific bargains to wine consumers, also produces limited quantities of high-end wines that can take their place against the toughest of competition. All this is attributable to the late visionary Jess Jackson and today is carried on by his widow, Barbara Banke. They’ve never been shy about spending money for top mountain vineyards throughout California, and have always hired talented winemakers. In this case, Kendall-Jackson’s entire hierarchy of wines has been guided impeccably by their longtime employee, Randy Ullom. He doesn’t get much notice from wine geeks, but what he does is remarkable. And when you consider the diversity of wines of which he oversees production, the diverse array of microclimates, terroirs, etc., he probably has as much experience making large and tiny quantities of high-quality wines as any winemaker in the world. (RP)  (12/2014)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Offers lots of subtlety and polish, from the light, vanilla-accented toasty oak notes to the rich, creamy fig, honeydew, white peach and apricot flavors. Intense and elegant. Drink now. 2,037 cases made.  (7/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Brown spice, dried honeysuckle, Gala-apple skins, a touch of light custard and sea-salt-laden citrus and stone fruit show on the nose of this mouthwatering wine. Once sipped, flavors of butter-poached apples and ripe pears are spiced with more sea salt. A tight, pithy structure holds it all together.  (9/2016)

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Price: $23.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5