2016 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay - Staura Cellars
Candied lemon, honeysuckle, granny smith apple. Ripe peach, orchard blossom, fresh pineapple. Powdered nutmeg and vanillin, dense yellow pollen and banana leaf. Rich buttercream icing sticks to the palate as sweet juicy citrus and cantaloupe maintain vitals. Salted caramel apple on a stick meets cheesecake bites drenched in eggnog. This 2016 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay by Staura Cellars is plush, opulent, luscious California Chard.
Chardonnay is a grape that can take on many different styles. It can be lean, sharp, and mineral or soft, juicy, and fruit driven. California Chardonnay in particular can sit virtually anywhere on that spectrum. This example, sourced solely from Courtney's Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara, falls decidedly on the louder end of the scale. It is ripe, in-your-face, and ready to rumble. It follows the blueprint of high-dollar cult Chardonnays such as Kistler, Kongsgaard, and Marcassin. It bursts at the seams with bright fruit and obvious oak, and while not a butterbomb it drinks quite lush and creamy. If you're a fan of full throttle Cali Chard you should give this bottling by Staura Cellars a try, as it competes with the big boys for a fraction of the price.