Racines (Northern California only), 2017 Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Soil & Vineyard: Elder Chert & Shale over Clay. From a portion of the original plantings of this great vineyard dating back to 1971. These are the oldest vines in Sta. Rita Hills, period. Thin soils, lots of shale and chert make this gently north facing terroir unique.
Production & Aging: Native yeast barrel fermented in 350-500L French oak puncheons resulting in 18% new oak. 12 months barrel aging on fine lees before racking and aging 6 months in stainless steel tank.
The 2017 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict has plenty of depth, texture and nuance, but it is also surprisingly tightly wound for a vintage in which wines are generally more open-knit. Bright, savory and intensely mineral, the 2017 is going to need time to soften. At this point, the 2017 is not terribly expressive of S&B, although it is quite attractive just the same. 93pts.
— Antonio Galloni