2010 Rusack "Reserve" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1111665 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay Reserve is considerably richer and riper than the Santa Barbara County bottling. Ripe tropical fruit, mango, butter and French oak come to life in this large-scaled, creamy Chardonnay. Here, too, all of the elements are in gorgeous balance. The Reserve is layered, rich, multi-dimensional and flat-out beautiful. It is another striking wine from Rusack. The vineyard sources are 89% Sierra Madre and 11% Bien Nacido. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.  (8/ 2012)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* This combination of full ripeness and high acidity will push the limits of most tasters because of its unrelenting acidy involvement, but that trait does not deter us from liking it and its somewhat leaner mate below. Rich and complementary oak with a slightly smoky edge adds its own voice and, together with the lengthy, well-expressed fruit provides a kind of moderating balance to what is one of the more brisk wines in this Issue. Try it now with dishes like Oysters Rockefeller or set it aside in the cellar for some well-deserved maturation.  (8/ 2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Tight and intense, with a firm, vibrant, structured mix of tart pineapple and lemon-grapefruit citrus notes. Excellent acidity keeps the flavors fresh and vibrant. Drink now through 2018. 420 cases made.  (6/ 2012)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid gold. Citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with hints of chamomile and spicecake adding complexity. Nervy and dry, with refreshingly bitter orange and lemon zest flavors and a late note of poached pear. The citrus note repeats on the firm, dry, linear finish. This wine could use a little time to stretch out.  (10/ 2011)

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Price: $26.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 Sants Inez 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 (%): 14.2