Tag Archives: Au Bon Climat

Grocery Store Chardonnay Project

Findings include:
• Very drinkable (86 to 87 point) wines can be obtained for as low as $7-9
• While high QPR (quality price ratio) wines can be found at virtually all price points, the highest rated wines (92 and 91+ points) can be found at the $15-20, $20-25 and $30-and-above price ranges
• The $26-30 range contains surprisingly few highly rated wines
• Three U.S. wine firms are responsible for nearly 17% of these wines, and the top eight wine firms own over 37% of these labels
• Nearly 16% of these grocery store Chardonnays exhibited relatively high residual sugar (sweetness)
• Less than 14% of these wines were bottled under screwcap
• 6% of the wines were affected by TCA and/or oxidation Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chardonnay, Legal Issues, Observations, Wine Values | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grocery Store Chardonnay Project

Sanford & Benedict: Historic Vineyard’s Story Told for First Time by Co-Founder

In sum, it appears evident that Richard Sanford and Michael Benedict’s instincts regarding planting in a cooler site like this portion of the Santa Ynez Valley certainly paid off. They also appear to have been fortunate in getting a good selection of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Karl Wente as the base for their vineyard. They also lucked into benefiting from the Santa Rita Hills’s soils, which seem to have a special affinity for Pinot Noir. Continue reading

Posted in Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, Winemakers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Santa Maria Valley: Low Profile, Cool Climate Excellence

With the new developments at these three Santa Maria producers, I expect the appellation’s profile will soon be rising. Savvy wine buyers already know that Bien Nacido on the label is a signal that the wine inside is bound to be good. Some of the other producers who are making wonderful wines from grapes grown in this region include Chanin, Foxen, La Fenêtre, Paul Lato, Summerland and Tyler. Continue reading

Posted in Santa Barbara | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

California Chardonnay Entering Its Golden Age?

A number of Golden State Chardonnays I’ve sampled in recent months has me thinking there are now a host of appealing, balanced and complex California Chardonnays available. Hallelujah! Maybe California’s most widely planted grape has at last entered its golden era. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment