2012 Sandhi Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
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.
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.