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Foxen Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block Uu 2012 750ml

Rated 91-93 - An exotic, intriguing Chardonnay, the 2012 Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU wraps around the palate with an appealing melange of...
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Foxen Chardonnay Tinaquaic Vineyard 2012 750ml

Rated 92 - With mouthwatering acidity, a stony minerality, modest alcohol and complex peach, green apple and tropical fruit flavors, this...
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Kendall Jackson Highland Estates Chardonnay Camelot 2012 750ml

Rated 92 - From a cooler climate and gravelly soils, the 2012 Chardonnay Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands comes from 40-year-old, ungrafted vines,...

Chardonnay Santa Barbara Santa Maria Valley

Of all the white wine grape varietals, surely the one which has spread the furthest and is most widely appreciated is the Chardonnay. This green skinned grape is now grown all over the Old and New Worlds, from New Zealand to the Americas, from England to Chile, and is one of the first varietals people think of when considering white wine grapes. Perhaps this is because of its huge popularity which reached a peak in the 1990s, thanks to new technologies combining with traditional methods to bring the very best features out of the Chardonnay grape, and allow its unique qualities to shine through. Most fine Chardonnay wines use a process known as malolactic fermentation, wherein the malic acids in the grape juice are converted to lactic acids, allowing a creamier, buttery nature to come forward in the wine. No grape varietal is better suited to this process than Chardonnay, which manages to balance these silky, creamy notes with fresh white fruit flavors beautifully.
Santa Barbara is home to many of California's most sought after wines, with a powerful reputation for superbly crafted, old world style big, flavorful and complex red wines. The white wine industry in the region is growing, too, with many wineries within Santa Barbara successfully experimenting with several classic white wine grape varietals. As in much of California, Santa Barbara benefits from the blazing west coast sunshine, coupled with cooling Pacific Ocean breezes and fogs, which help to temper the grapes and slow the ripening process, thus ensuring more flavor and aroma in the resulting wines. Although Santa Barbara is a relatively young wine region, it is home to many wineries who are extremely dedicated when it comes to demonstrating just how good their terroir is, and how characterful their region's wines can be.