2008 Brewer-Clifton "Sweeney Canyon" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1057797 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 continues the trend of rating all the older Sweeney Canyon Chardonnays higher than I did early in their lives. That’s an indication of great winemaking from a spectacular site. The age old argument of whether a Chardonnay improves in the bottle is answered positively by how the wines in this vertical have performed. The 2008 Chardonnay displays a French style with lots of white corn, white peach, honeysuckle, wet rock and spice characteristics. Tropical fruit notes appear on the palate, and there is enough acidity to support and delineate the wine’s superb richness. The alcohol came in at 15.3%, relatively modest by Brewer-Clifton standards. The 2008 should drink well for at least 8-10 more years. (RP)  (11/2013)

K&L Notes

This release marks the fourteenth consecutive bottling of this unique site with which Brewer Clifton has worked since its inception in 1996. Planted on its own roots to a Wente selection and dry farmed in a mixture of river silt and diatomaceous earth. Aromas of lychee, mangosteen and flint are followed by flavors of green pear, lime and minerals. Rich and focused demonstrating tremendous viscosity and breadth.

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Price: $69.99
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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.