2016 Gainey Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1383865 91 points Vinous

 Gainey's 2016 Chardonnay is a gorgeous entry-level wine. Lemon confit, white flowers and light tropical notes run through this delicious, hugely appealing Chardonnay. The 2016 offers lovely depth and vibrancy. Partially blocked malolactic fermentation preserves a good bit of energy. Best of all, it is a terrific value. (AG)  (9/2018)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Light in the glass, this wine starts with a touch of sandalwood on the nose alongside preserved lemon, toast and oak. The palate offers a firm textural grip, then leads into tangy lemon rind, sour apple and a bit more toasted oak flavors. (MK)  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The wine boasts fresh golden apple, spiced pear and melon aromas with citrus and mineral undertones and hints of vanilla, honey and oak spice. Rich and creamy on the palate, its succulent honeyed apple, white peach, lemon-lime and mineral flavors are nicely accented by subtle, spicy oak tones in the long, refreshing finish. Delicious now, this superb Santa Rita Hills chardonnay will drink beautifully over the next 2-3 years. Our Estate Grown Chardonnay is a blend of grapes from our two ideally situated Santa Rita Hills vineyards: Rancho Esperanza, located on the western edge and Evan’s Ranch located on the eastern edge of the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The Santa Rita Hills appellation is located approximately 10 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Esperanza produces a bright lean style of chardonnay with citrus and mineral notes and great acidity. We complete the blend with Evan’s Ranch fruit to fill in with richness and ripe apple components. Blending this prime fruit together allows us to craft a deeply flavorful, beautifully textured and delightfully complex chardonnay."

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/26/2018 | Send Email
A California Chard for white Burgundy lovers! This is a beautifully focused, bright, mineral driven Chardonnay with tons of verve and brisk ocean air qualities. No big, gloopy / oaky / buttery here...this is more like Chablis, with zingy citrus tones, green apple, salty minerals, freshly baked bread and a bright crisp finish. A lovely Chard for seafood...maybe Crab or scallops. Amazing value when you consider it is entirely estate grown and bottled, from mature vines, in the super-premium region of Sta. Rita Hills. This is very tough to beat...don't miss this razor sharp price!
Top Value!

Additional Information:



- 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.