2021 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1661829 96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Ripe orchard fruits, butted lemon, crushed stone, and salty, marine-influence notes all emerge from the 2021 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills, a concentrated, medium to full-bodied Chardonnay with a liquid rock-like sense of minerality, beautiful mid-palate density, and a great finish. You should never underestimate these appellation releases from Greg Brewer. This is an insane value in top Chardonnay from California. Inner quote mark (8/2023)

93 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark There's terrific focus and intensity to the bright citrus flavors at the core of this white, with yuzu, ruby grapefruit, Meyer lemon and lime zest notes, plus plenty of salty, minerally accents that add a mouthwatering minerality, followed by hints of lemon basil that linger on the finish. *Highly Recommended* (MW) Inner quote mark (7/2023)

92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2021 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is a fabulous introduction to this range and the year. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint and chalk all grace this delicate, understated Chardonnay. The appellation Chardonnay is terrific in 2021. (AG) Inner quote mark (9/2023)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Citrusy tonic aromas meet with alight wood spice on the nose of this bottling. The palate brightens with lemon rind and balm flavors, as Mandarin orange pith and a zippy acidity pushes long into the finish. (MK) Inner quote mark (10/2023)

91 points Decanter

Outer quote mark This profoundly ripe, densely concentrated Chardonnay is a bolder expression of the Santa Rita Hills AVA. Weighty and voluminous but still squarely anchored in acidity, this powerful wine pulsates with ripe Asian pear and yellow cherry flavours speckled with hints of dill, candied ginger and toasted brioche. (ALI) Inner quote mark (2/2023)

K&L Notes

From Wine Enthusiast's 2020 Winemaker of the Year, Greg Brewer, comes this expressive Chardonnay sourced from Sta. Rita Hills famed 3D, Machado, and Hapgood vineyards. Using only neutral barrels, whole cluster press, and minimal intervention, Brewer achieves an elegant wine that's balanced and vibrant with a nose of lemon, kiwi, and orange blossoms and a palate redolent of jasmine, lime, and ginger, with refreshing minerality.

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Product Reviews:

By: Carlo Delgado | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/20/2023 | Send Email
Soft notes of quince, honeydew melon, peach, orange zest, ginger, chamomile tea, caramel, and saline. Impeccably balanced, vibrant acidity, and zippy finish. Greg Brewer is one of the most talented, down to earth, interesting winemakers I've met, and this 2021 Chardonnay is a testament to his talent and consistency.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/16/2023 | Send Email
It's very hard to say something about Greg Brewer's wines that hasn't been said many times before. The man, the myth, the legend that is Greg Brewer has long made some of the most incredibly delicious and critically acclaimed wines in California. Despite his skills, reputation and vast achievements (including being named the world's best winemaker by Wine Enthusiast in 2020) to meet Greg is to meet a guy who is humble and modest beyond compare. His passion and dedication to his craft is palpable, but he's so thoughtful, sincere and personable it's easy to forget you're chatting with one of the best winemakers of a generation. His 2021 Chardonnay is stunning. The long, moderate growing season with ample hang-time and high natural acidity really played into his hands. Greg likes to pick his Chardonnay quite ripe and concentrated. After that, everything in the cellar is about channeling and focusing the natural intensity and power of the fruit. The grapes are whole-cluster pressed, raised in entirely neutral oak barrels and the wine only goes through partial malolactic fermentation. No lees stirring, and then several months in stainless steel tank before bottling focus the power of the wine into a laser beam of energy and flavor. The result is a wonderfully intense, flavorful, rich, Chardonnay but with electric acidity and dynamic energy and vibrancy on the palate. The ripeness and concentration of the fruit means you can enjoy it upon release. The crystalline acidity assures that it will age for a decade of more should you be patient enough to lay some down. A stunning wine that shows a master's work in all its glory.
Top Value!

By: Chelsea Herholdt | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2023 | Send Email
If I tasted this wine with no knowledge of the price point, I would have expected to see a price point double what we have it for. Santa Rita Hills is a top notch area for Chardonnay, and this is no exception, coming in as a perfect middle ground style of Chardonnay. You get some classic California texture, met first by a nose of preserved lemon peel and peach pie, and complemented by a surprisingly lifted palate. A sure crowd-pleaser and one you'll want to have on hand for when a friend stops by or the balanced white wine mood strikes. Reminds me of enjoying a sunny day in Santa Barbara.

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2023 | Send Email
A great vintage for Brewer Clifton, this will make many fans of the folks that have enjoyed vintages in the past, but offers a ton for any lover of dynamic and flavorful Chardonnay. Ripe pear, pineapple, and white pepper provides aromatic depth, while stone fruits, lime pith, and orange zest flavors line a palate that is textured but not heavy. It has a solid backbone of acidity to keep it fresh, and a slight tactile quality that gives it structure. It'll be interesting to follow as it develops over the next few years, for those who can wait. I'm guessing after tasting, this will be one that gets a lot of corks pulled in quick order.

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