2012 Liquid Farm "Golden Slope" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1148642 93 points Vinous

 Pale yellow. Intense, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, with suave honeysuckle and iodine notes and a hint of tarragon. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy pear and Meyer lemon flavors plus a touch of melon. Firms up on a finish that hangs on with outstanding clarity and repeating florality. Nikki and Jeff Nelson have fully settled into their own facility just north of metropolitan Buellton. They recently took on a full-time winemaker, James Sparks, whose brother-in-law Brandon Sparks-Gillis is part of the Dragonette team, whose space the Nelsons formerly used for their own wines. While there's a pinot noir on the horizon here, the focus is squarely on chardonnay, "made in the style of wines that we like to drink, which means Burgundy," according to Jeff Nelson. That said, the Nelsons are quick to point out that their goal "isn't imitation but emulation" and that they're not trying to suppress "the fruit that makes California, California. It's more a matter of not letting the fruit get the upper hand and running all over everything else, which means careful growing, harvesting at the right time, and then doing as little as possible from crush to bottling." The wines do indeed taste Burgundy-inspired and this winery has quickly moved onto a number of sommeliers' "A list" as a source for domestic chardonnay. (Josh Raynolds)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

Liquid Farm wines are made with the help of Buellton's Dragonette Cellars. The outfit was highlighted in 2013 by the Los Angeles Times and by Eric Asimov of the New York Times in an article titled, "Santa Barbara Redefines Chardonnay," after which the 2011 Chardonnay sold out. "Golden Slope" is a mostly neutral barrel fermented (with a varying percentage new oak) classically styled effort, trending toward rich, nutty and creamy, scoring 92 points consecutively in Steven Tanzer's International Wine Cellar. We're expecting high accolades for the big, beautiful 2012 vintage, as well.

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Price: $39.99
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