2019 J. Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $25)

SKU #1692081 92 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark This benchland wine highlights the foggy coolness of Santa Maria’s transverse valley, with its citrusy, mildly nutty nose and lemon-lime flavors, fresh and linear, crackling with bright acidity. It’s a seafood wine to pour with Dungeness crab cakes. (PJC) Inner quote mark (10/2021)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Buttered citrus, honeysuckle, green almond, and white flower notes emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley, a rich, medium-bodied Chardonnay that has good purity, moderate acidity, and a great finish. Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

J. Wilkes has long been one of the best value brands in California wine. The brand is essential a second label from the Miller Family who own Bien Nacido Estate and Solomon Hills Estate, two of the most highly regarded vineyards in Santa Barabara County, if not all of California. Bien Nacido Vineyard has long been considered one of California's "Grand Cru" sites. Established in the early 1970's, the mature vines here grow in calcareous-shale soils on the Tepusquet bench overlooking the Santa Maria Valley below. Solomon Hills is a more recent planting on the other side of the valley, very close to the ocean, in ancient sand dunes. This site provides zesty acidity and saline minerality to compliment Bien Nacido's natural power and depth. The J. Wilkes wines are made by Wes Hagen. Wes is a well-established winemaker in his own right. Before joining the Miller Family team, he made the wines at the renowned Clos Pepe Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. With our special Insider's Advantage price on this Chardonnay, it offers simply unbeatable value for money in a bright, mineral driven Chardonnay with exceptional pedigree. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L Domestic Wine Buyer)

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Product Reviews:

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/10/2023 | Send Email
When I was offered this wine at a crazy low price I didn't hesitate. I've known for years that the J. Wilkes wines represent some of the most incredible value wines in California even at full retail pricing. These wine harness the incredible estate vineyards of the Miller Family (Bien Nacido, Solomon Hills etc) plus the proven talents of winemaker Wes Hagen. It seems almost unfathomable that you can take Chardonnay from some of the finest acres of vineyard on the central coast, have it hand-crafted into wine by a renowned winemaker like Wes (who by the way made the great wines of Clos Pepe in the Sta Rita Hills for many years) and wrap it all up to sell under $25. Even more mind-blowing is that we're taking another 40% OFF! My wife recently poured me a glass of this without me knowing what it was...tasting it blind I was even more impressed of how well this wine showed with is crystaline stone fruits, baked pear, intense minerality, coastal acidity and saline complexity. It has a very Chablis-like oyster shell thing going on which I loved and is rarely found in inexpensive wines like this. So balanced, focued and complex for such ludicrous price. Seriously, if you like more vibrant, bright, mineral driven Chardonnay buy a case of this and you'll be very happy!
Top Value! Drink from 2023 to 2026

By: Carlo Delgado | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/6/2023 | Send Email
Nose of ripe yellow apples, yellow pear, lemon curd, honeydew melon, mangoes, creme brulee, and saline. Fresh, refreshing, creamy on the palate, well balanced between the fruit, oak, acidity, and minerality. An awesome, classic style, California Chardonnay!

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