2015 Chardonnay - La Encantada Estate
Lemon peel, chalk dust, tart yellow pear. Clementine, daylily, crunchy white nectarine. Cool salt water and crushed shells, baking yeast and a hint of clove. Electric citrus zest pierces through a fragrant honeysuckle and jasmine garden, rounded out slightly by barely-ripe honeydew and apple skin. Pronounced salinity vibrates throughout the high-acid attack, finishing with dry minerality and soil tones of loamy sand. Lean, clean, and remarkably complex, bleeding energetic maritime terroir that bests the simply overmatched fruit. Balanced, structured, and astoundingly focused. This 2015 Chardonnay by La Encantada Estate is an incredible achievement from a vineyard that made its name on Pinot Noir.
Located on the cool southwestern edge of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills appellation, the La Encantada Vineyard has established a firm reputation as a Grand Cru site for Pinot Noir. This sprawling 99 acre vineyard is planted almost exclusively to Pinot and few people realize it does contain a precious acre or two of Chardonnay. This bottling, crafted under La Encantada's own label using 100% estate Chardonnay, makes one wonder why more of this lauded site is not devoted to white grapes. This brilliant wine is terroir driven and complex; flawlessly pulling off the "Santa Barbara Chablis" style that is only possible in certain special vineyards in the region. It is saline, crisp, and highly mineral, not afraid of giving off a little zing before fading slowly into a near-eternal finish. This is a delicious stylistic home run and we hope we get to see a lot more Chardonnay from this site in the future.