New limited Chardonnay release from the famed Brewer-Clifton label in Santa Barbara! The wines of Brewer-Clifton represent the essence of the best vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills area and focus on the production of single vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from carefully selected vineyards in the SRH appellation.
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of the great values out there, the 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills offers thrilling notes of white flowers, white peach, currants, and toasted bread. This ripe, sexy wine is unquestionably at the same level as the more expensive single vineyard releases, and it will evolve for just as long...This was another thrilling lineup from Greg Brewer, and I consistently rate these wines as some of the greatest in the Sta. Rita Hills, as well as all of Santa Barbara County. These are brilliant wines."
93 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): " The 2017 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine from Brewer-Clifton. Creamy and ample, the 2017 is absolutely delicious. Tangerine, mint, lemon peel and sweet spice notes all meld together in a striking, nuanced Chardonnay that hits all the right notes. The 2017 is positively stellar. That's pretty much all there is to it."
93 Points Wine Enthusiast: "This appellation blend carries that aromatic hallmark of this winery's Chardonnays, with a streak of walnut oil that decorates the marmalade and toast tones. The palate is bright in acidity, giving energy to the flavors of walnut paste, dried orange peel and sun-dried honeysuckle. "
As readers will know, the Brewer-Clifton wines see no new oak at all. "I want all the expression and the decadence to come from the outside, so I use very old barrels and no stirring for Chardonnay," Greg explains. "Chardonnay is whole-cluster pressed, and the Pinot Noirs are whole-cluster fermented, from 70% to 100% for the single-vineyard designates. For me, stems are like a corset. We have so much fruit out here. I’ve spent 25 years working with stems as a means of framing and corseting, so we work with stems to shape and lift."
One of California's finest Viogniers from the Master John Alban. Very limited.
93 points Robert Parker: "I continue to think John's Central Coast Viognier is one of the best values out there. The 2018 Viognier has a wonderful, classic perfume: honeysuckle and quince with an intense core of peachy fruit plus accents of honeyed oats, baker’s yeast and citrus peel. The palate is medium-bodied, intensely flavored and extraordinarily fresh, finishing very long. So lovely!"
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Pale green-hued yellow. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of mineral-accented white peach, Anjou pear, melon and orange zest carry a bright floral overtone that gains strength with air. Juicy, fresh and densely packed, displaying a suave interplay of richness and vivacity to the orchard and pit fruit flavors. Shows impressive power and definition on the strikingly long finish, which strongly echoes the peach and floral qualities."
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The Alban Viognier Central Coast and is a serious winner in 2017. Possessing an elegant, medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure profile as well as classic notes of caramelized citrus, white flowers, and hints of orange marmalade, it’s well worth a multi-bottle purchase and will keep for 2-3 years."
John Alban is a pioneering central coast master of Rhône varietals, and his Alban Vineyards label is one of the most sought-out sources for what many consider the pinnacle expressions of these grapes in California. His Viognier wines are routinely hailed as top examples of the varietal, and not just from his neighbors, but from many of the top players in Condrieu as well. From the winery: "We make two Viogniers: A Central Coast bottling that is often more than 75% from our own vineyard, and an Estate bottling. The former showcases the forward heady stone fruit of this variety. It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel and bottled early."
One of the best Napa Valley Sauvignon Blancs we've discovered.
The Altamura 2016 Sauvignon Blanc comes from the winery's 4-acre 18-year-old dry-farmed vineyard which sits at an altitude of 850 feet. The wine is fermented and aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months resulting in a wine of great depth and complexity, displaying the flavor and textural profile more like a white Bordeaux than a California Sauvignon Blanc. Very limited production of 500 cases.