2015 Peake Ranch Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)

SKU #1348512 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The first vintage for this cuvée it was created with the idea to improve the quality of the single vineyard. The 2015 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley is a stunning value that offers classic buttered stone fruits, toasted nuts and honeysuckle in a rich, texture, balanced style. It way over delivers at the price and is a terrific wine. It’s one of the larger production releases as well (536 cases), so hopefully you can find a few bottles.  (8/2017)

K&L Notes

Peake Ranch Winery is only a few vintages in, but already they're on to something: sexy, expressive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and a soupçon of Grenache from excellent vineyard sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley. Owner John Wagner is a physicist-turned-hedge-fund-manager-turned-winemaker, who developed a passion for the grape when he bought Sierra Madre vineyard and got "sucked in," as he puts it. He's brought talented folks on board-an exciting young winemaker named Wynne Solomon who cut her teeth at Melville; Michael Anderson, a veteran viticulturalist; and somm/winemaker Paul Lato. They recently opened a state-of-the-art winery and tasting room at the old Richard Sanford property, being careful to preserve the historic spaces that harken back to the founding of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. This property rather quickly went from a winery-to-watch to one of the benchmark producers in the area.


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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/3/2019 | Send Email
The nose on this is just beautiful. Soft, creamy tones. Touches of spice. The fruit on the palate is absolutely penetrating. Lemon curd and zest above touches of marzipan with a texture that is somehow weighted and serious, but lively acidity keeps it light on its feet.

By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/31/2019 | Send Email
Peake Ranch is a relatively new operation with just a few vintages under its belt. Winemaker Paul Lato was brought on board to kick off the project, setting the tone for what is quickly becoming a sought after brand. This Chardonnay is Lato through and through; well-balanced, richly textured, plenty of ripe stone fruit, yellow apple and white flower aromas and vibrant acid with a palate that is very clean and precise. All of the elements in this wine have unfolded beautifully so far and I recommend purchasing a few extra to store for a few years - this is only just beginning to hit its stride. Fabulous stuff. (Be sure to visit Peake Ranch's gorgeous new tasting room on Santa Rosa Road)

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/27/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine greets you with a big, toasty, brioche filled aromatic that harkens back to a more distant era. On the palate the wine has a medium plus body that just exudes creaminess, supple, soft, smooth carrying on that toasted brioche flavor. The finish shows some lift and balance in the end for a broad, smooth ending.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Over the last two years we’ve paid serious attention to Peake Ranch, one of our favorite emerging wineries in the Sta. Rita Hills. Several recon missions to the winery confirmed our earlier suspicions; this is one serious property. Thanks to the strength of our relationship, we were able to secure the last 20 cases of their inaugural release Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay direct from the cellar. This wine turned heads upon release but has now really reached a special place. I took a bottle home over the weekend and savored it over 3 days. I was particularly impressed how well the wine had integrated. The additional time in bottle has resulted in a wine that melds the best of what these cool climate vineyards can produce when placed in the hands of incredibly talented winemaker Paul Lato. Full-bodied, rich and layered, it should drink well for several years to come. This Chardonnay should be front and center at your next dinner party.

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