2017 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay - SAMsARA Wine Company
Squeezed lemon, sea water, lime peel. Underripe nectarine, struck flint, tart apple. Salt lick and seaweed, crunchy straw and raw dough. Screaming citrus hits like high beams mellowed only momentarily by yeast and abalone shell. Jasmine and baby's-breath shyly interject just to be clobbered by a searing rush of pucker-worthy fruit and acid. Thyme and ginger root make a cameo appearance but quickly dissipate behind matchstick and minerality. This 2017 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay by SAMsARA Wine Company is lean and laser-focused Santa Barbara Chard.
California Chardonnay has a reputation for being round and raucous, often featuring ripeness and oak in lieu of tension and minerality. This bottling, crafted by SAMsARA Wine Co. using 100% Chardonnay sourced from a handful of elite Santa Rita Hills vineyards, could not be further from that description. Thanks to fruit picked early to highlight freshness, plus neutral oak aging and extended lees contact, this wine is a high-energy stunner with acidity cranked to 11. It exhibits heavy saline influence from the nearby Pacific Ocean along with bright & clean fruit in a deliciously genuine expression of place. Complex and captivating, this is California's answer to Chablis if there ever was one. For SAMsARA's first ever attempt at making white wine this stuff hits the bullseye.