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2008 Brewer-Clifton "Mt. Carmel Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1057794

94 points Robert Parker: "The power and honeyed notes of the 2008 Chardonnay Mount Carmel are dramatic. This plush, up-front style of Chardonnay from Brewer and Clifton often reminds me of a California version of a Batard-Montrachet. The wine is light gold in color, with notes of honeyed nuts intermixed with crushed rock, lemon butter, orange rind, and pear. Broad, savory, rich, and showy, this wine tips the scales at 14% natural alcohol." (08/10) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. A complex, expressive bouquet evokes fresh pear, white peach, smoky minerals and iodine. Pliant pit fruit and zesty citrus flavors are complicated by notes of minerals and honeysuckle. The finish features strong mineral and bitter citrus pith qualities and hangs on with impressive tenacity." (Nov/Dec 2009) This release marks the fourth growing season of this illustrious site under Brewer-Clifton's complete management. Originally planted in 1991 by Ron Piazza (current owner), this monopole vineyard is now overseen by the brilliant vineyard manager, Francisco Ramirez and renowned soil expert, Stan Kadota. Of the twenty acres, six are planted to chardonnay on a steep, wind-beaten slope of botella clay and limestone. Aromas of pineapple, green papaya and flint followed by flavors of lime, orange blossom and brine. Elegant and dense without being weighty with tremendous salinity on the mouth.

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Price: $39.99
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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.


- 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.
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.