2014 Wild Horse "Cheval Sauvage" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $35)

SKU #1402611 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Reticent aromas of lemon peel, honeysuckle, meringue, tangerine, sea salt and chalk show on the nose of this top-end white from one of the region's pioneering properties. Rounded pear and apple show on the palate, but it's chalky and restrained, with a vein of grapefruit peel and lime pith. (MK)  (12/2017)

K&L Notes

Founded in 1981 by wine legend Ken Volk, Wild Horse has long produced a stellar range of red and white wines from Californian. Located in historic Templeton, Wild Horse Winery was name for the wild mustangs that roamed the hills east of the estate vineyards. Cheval Sauvage, meaning wild horse in French, is the estate's flagship wine. Sourced from two top vineyards in Santa Maria Valley; Rancho Real and Bien Nacido. This line represents only a small percent of the their annual produciton. Wild Horse Winery remains a champion of Central Coast winegrowing, committed to sustainable viticultural practices and creating wines that represent the region's diversity.

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Price: $14.99
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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/5/2019 | Send Email
I enjoyed this wine and wasn't really expecting this style of California Chardonnay at this price point. The wine has a real stony nose, shows more earth almost Chablis like in aromatic but with broad strokes of California richness. On the palate the wine shows depth and that stony aromatic plays out with an less obviously "fruity". The palate does show a lot of rich texture but with focus that really gives you the feeling of power in the wine. The finish is solid, not infinite but really brings the wine together. At the price point this is a steel

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2019 | Send Email
There has never been a better time in our history to drink Chardonnay from the USA. Winemakers have honed their craft and fine tuned their vineyards over many years resulting in the best Chardonnays in our nation’s history. We were pleasantly shocked when we got to taste and make an offer on this excellent white from the venerable Wild Horse winery. The fruit is sourced from top Santa Maria vineyards and aged 15 months in 100% French oak of which 45% is new. The wine has really come together with a few years in bottle. There is great complexity on both the nose and the palate. It’s quite the luxurious blend of ripe pears, spice, crème brulee, vanilla, and lemon zest. I’d pair this wine with pork roast and apple compote. This is one of the most spectacular white wine offers we’ll make this year. Purchase by the case.

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2019 | Send Email
There are certain chards out there that just go for every day drinking... and then there's chards that are reserved for more special occasions. With the Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage, I believe we reached that happy median. I found myself very pleased with this one. With 4 years of bottle age, the oak and malo is very well balanced, and easily accessible. I just wish I had my friend (who loves chardonnay) with me to enjoy this. At 15 dollars, you seriously can't go wrong.

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5