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93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Reticent aromas of lemon peel, honeysuckle, meringue, tangerine, sea salt and chalk show on the nose of this top-end white from one of the region's pioneering properties. Rounded pear and apple show on the palate, but it's chalky and restrained, with a vein of grapefruit peel and lime pith. (MK)" (12/2017) K&L Notes: Founded in 1981 by wine legend Ken Volk, Wild Horse has long produced a stellar range of red and white wines from California. Located in historic Templeton, Wild Horse Winery was name for the wild mustangs that ...
Price: $14.99

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from the Santa Maria Valley (this label is by and large focused on the Sta. Rita Hills), the 2017 Chardonnay Katherine’s just jumps from the glass with a perfumed, tropical bouquet of ripe citrus, spice, dried pineapple, and mango notes. Showing more and more classic salinity and oyster shell characteristics with time in the glass, it’s medium-bodied, has bright acidity, a layered, viscous texture, and a beautiful finish. It’s going to evolve for 8-10 years at a minimum. " (10/2018) 94 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay ...
Price: $29.95

2018 Diatom "Bar-M" Los Alamos Chardonnay
Top Pick!
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2018 Chardonnay Bar-M has an open nose of quince, warm hay, green apple and pear, baker’s yeast, acacia and dried chamomile with white peach and nectarine plus hints of lime peel and crushed stone. Light to medium-bodied, it has a wonderful core of spicy fruit and wicked minerality in the mouth, amplified by juicy freshness and a long, energetic, layered finish. Yum! (EB)" (09/2019) 93 points Vinous: "From a site in Los Alamos, the 2017 Chardonnay Bar M is perfumed, lifted and wonderfully gracious in feel. ...
Price: Hidden

2016 Ann Albert "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40) (Elsewhere $40)
Top Pick!
94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from a great site in the Santa Maria Valley, the 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard spent 16 months all in neutral oak. It has a brilliant bouquet of crisp white peach, tart pineapple, salty minerality, and white flowers. This carries to a medium-bodied Chardonnay that has a silky, elegant texture, integrated acidity, and fabulous balance. This terrific effort will keep for upwards of a decade." (10/2019) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Hazelnut, preserved lemon, warm toast and a touch of daffodil show on the nose of this s...
Price: $29.99

2017 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Top Pick!
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of the great values out there, the 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills offers thrilling notes of white flowers, white peach, currants, and toasted bread. This ripe, sexy wine is unquestionably at the same level as the more expensive single vineyard releases, and it will evolve for just as long. This was another thrilling lineup from Greg Brewer, and I consistently rate these wines as some of the greatest in the Sta. Rita Hills, as well as all of Santa Barbara County. In addition to the latest releases, I was also able to taste re...
Price: $29.95

96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Delicate and yet laser-focused on the nose, this tremendous bottling from a historic property offers wet chalk and exotic lime aromas. There is a great grip to the tense palate, where a chalky texture delivers flavors of toast, white peach and a light brush of butter. It's clean and crisp yet consequential. (MK)" (03/2020) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from own rooted, 45-year-old vines planted in shale. It's youthfully coiled and very minerally on the nose, with jus...
Price: $39.95

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Block UU comes from a great vineyard located just east of the town of Santa Maria and was brought up in 20% new French oak. A classic Bien Nacido bouquet of honeyed orchard fruits, crushed rocks, oyster shells, and white flowers flow to a rich, beautifully textured, concentrated Chardonnay that has everything you could want from this variety. With terrific balance, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish, it's brilliant stuff that should evolve gracefully for 5-7 years." (10/2018) 92 points ...
Price: $29.95

94 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Solomon Hills is fabulous. Creamy and resonant on the palate, with terrific freshness, the 2016 is a wonderfully complete wine that will drink well right out of the gate. Lemon oil, mint and white pepper all develop in the glass. Above all else, the Solomon Hills Chardonnay manages to be both texturally expansive and also incredibly elegant. It has been terrific in two recent tastings. (AG)" (09/2018) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Exotic aromas of lemon verbena, oysters, iodine, and wet rock on the nose. The flav...
Price: Hidden

91 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Bright orchard fruits, brioche, toasted bread, and honeysuckle notes all emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Estate. It's medium-bodied and has a tight, vibrant texture as well as some Burgundian style in its texture and acidity. It's a beautiful effort." (10/2019) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate, aged 14 months in 20% new French oak, has open-knit aromas of apple pie, crushed stone, sweet spices, quince paste and hay with notions of honeysuckle and honeyed almonds. The palate is medium-bodied, s...
Price: $24.99

91 points Vinous: "Lemon peel, tangerine, flowers and chamomile all grace the exquisite, creamy, vivid 2017 Chardonnay from J. Wilkes. Beautifully layered yet also light on its feet, with tons of Santa Maria character, the 2017 is a winner. Best of all, this absolutely delicious Chardonnay is a remarkable value. (AG)" (10/2019) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lime peel, green pear, lemongrass and wet river stone combine for an inviting and complex nose. There is strong chalky tension to the palate, where a flavor of Key lime pie is wrapped in bright acid. ...
Price: $19.95

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "From a site in the Santa Maria Valley brought up in 22% new French oak, the 2016 Chardonnay Sierra Madre Vineyard offers more minerality as well as an obvious salinity in its orchard fruits, crushed rocks, poached pear, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. Deep, rich, and medium to full-bodied, it’s certainly another brilliant Chardonnay from this estate." (10/2018) 93 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Sierra Madre Vineyard is gracious, airy and very delicate. Orchard fruit, mint and floral notes are all layered in a Chardonna...
Price: $49.99

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Aged 18 months in 78% new French oak, the entry level 2016 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County is a winner. Sourced from throughout the Santa Barbara County and aged 18 months in 78% new barrels, it offers a big bouquet of tropical fruits, pineapple, apple blossom, white flowers, and hints of spice. It's pure, silky and elegant on the palate, with nicely integrated acidity as well as big finish. It's well worth seeking out, and while it’s the entry level cuvée of the estate, it’s a match for just about every other Chardonnay out there...
Price: $39.99

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "The fascinating nose of this bottling is driven by wet stone, yet it also touches on orange rinds, fresh chives, lemongrass balm and a nearly basil-like aromatic without the green spice. It's lively on the palate with flint and crushed stone, showing very fresh and acid-driven flavors of lemon and ash, riding a firm tension through the sip. (MK)" (07/2019) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard, aged 15 months in 20% new oak, has a nose of honey toast, baked golden apple, wet hay, ear...


96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Very delicate on the nose, this bottling offers aromas of nectarine, white-melon flesh, a hint of melon rind and light lemon spray. The palate is extremely textural, offering subtle flavors of lemon cream, chalk, lemongrass, ash and Brie rind that will live forever. Drink now through 2042. *Cellar Selection* (MK)" (12/2019) 95 points Decanter: "From the site that started it all in the Sta. Rita Hills, Chanin’s 2017 Sanford & Benedict was sourced from the original vines planted in 1971. It spent 16 months in 15% new French oa...

92 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay White Hill is airy, gracious and lifted in feel, with slightly softer contours than is often the case. Orchard fruit, lemon peel, mint, almonds and wild flowers all open up effortlessly. Best of all, the 2017 will drink well upon release. Understated saline notes add complexity as this classy, polished Chardonnay shows off its charming personality. (AG)" (09/2019) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay White Hill has a very pretty nose of honey toast, toasted hazelnut, white peach, lemon pee...
Price: $39.99

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "From a site in the Santa Maria Valley and aged 15 months in 60% new French oak, the 2017 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard from Lato offers a vivid gold color as well as a rocking bouquet of lemon curd, crushed rocks, white currants, spice box, and white flowers. Rich, powerful, and layered, yet also vibrant and racy, with beautiful purity and precision on the palate, it's one of the most seamless, flawlessly balanced wines in the lineup. It's brilliant today yet should evolve effortlessly." (10/2019) 97 points Robert...
Price: $74.95

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lightly colored, with beautiful white citrus, white flowers, spice, and obvious minerality and salinity, the 2016 Chardonnay is medium-bodied, rounded, and beautifully textured on the palate. It has both freshness and richness and is perfect introduction into the wines of this estate, which is the idea with this cuvée." (10/2018) 91 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay is a tasty entry-level offering from The Hilt. Translucent and lifted, with lovely orchard fruit and floral character, the 2016 has a lot to offer. Lightly tropica...
Price: $39.95

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Chanin's 2016 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard (17 months in 15% new French oak) gives up a perfumed, slightly tropical bouquet of pineapple and melon, with more spice and toasty notes coming through with time in the glass. This is a classic Chanin wine and a great introduction into the estate. It offers plenty of richness, yet a more vibrant, fresh, clean style, and should keep for 4-6 years." (10/2018) 92 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is gorgeous. Polished, nuanced and super-expressive, the Los Alamos i...
Price: $34.99

2017 Gainey Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay (Elsewhere $25+) (Elsewhere $25+)
New!
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh aromas of lemongrass, lime zest, jasmine and guava lean toward tropical on the nose of this bottling. The palate is crisp with honeysuckle, jasmine and plumeria flavors, bound by a sharper lemon-rind component that hold the floral touches in check. (MK)" (08/2019) 91 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate is gorgeous, not to mention a superb value. Tangerine, mint, yellow orchard fruit, vanillin, buttery notes and a hint of new oak add nuance. The 2017 is generous and oily in feel, yet retains terrific freshness. A...
Price: Hidden

Antonio Galloni writes of Au Bon Climat's iconic Jim Clendenen: "Clendenen is of course one of the central figures in the Santa Barbara wine scene. Over the years, he has influenced or directly mentored many of today's young superstar winemakers. It is therefore quite ironic that, tasted within context of today's Santa Barbara, Clendenen's wines are richer and more powerful than those made by most, if not all, of the young winemakers he has influenced."
Price: $19.99

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County opens with notes of gunflint and smoke that give way to lemon meringue, red apple skin, white apricot, dried hay and white mushroom aromas. Light to medium-bodied, it's creamy textured with nutty flavors, tangy acidity to counter and a long, toasty finish. (EB)" (09/2019) Vinous: "Fess Parker's 2017 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine, and an even better value. Varietal orchard fruit and tropical flavors are nicely lifted by floral notes in this ...
Price: $14.95

Vinous: "Presqu'ile's 2018 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County) offers notable freshness and verve. Citrus peel, white flowers and bright saline notes are beautifully delineated. Airy and gracious, with terrific nuance, the Santa Barbara County shows how compelling 2018 is. (AG)" (09/2019) K&L Notes: This producer's goal is to produce Santa Maria Chardonnays that show "exceptional finesse and sense of place." The Chardonnay is harvested from a selection of Dijon clone vines that are grown in some of the Central Coast's best vineyards, such as Bien Nacido ...
Price: $19.99

Winery notes: Blend of different vineyards located in Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Sta. Rita Hills. Vineyard sources include Bien Nacido, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Rita's Crown, Wenzlau, Bentrock, Duarita, and Sanford & Benedict. Fermented in used barrel with native yeasts and minimal additions of SO2 only at bottling. 10 months of elevage in neutral barrel.
Price: $24.95

92 points Vinous: "Tyler's 2017 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County) is bright, precise and wonderfully nuanced from start to finish. White flowers, chalk, mint, white pepper and citrus give the 2017 striking detail and class. Aging in 500-liter barrels helps maintain vibrancy and tension. Once again, the appellation Chardonnay is a real overachiever. (AG)" (09/2019) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay opens with notions of gunflint, toast and crushed shell with layers of Bosc pear, lemon pith, green apple, white peaches and whit...
Price: $29.99

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Leading off the Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from one of the top vineyards in Santa Barbara County and it offers classic, masculine, mineral-driven notes as well as pretty apple blossom, white flowers, and salty sea breeze characteristics." (10/2019) 93 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard is a bit more tropical than most years. Layered and sensual, with striking balance, the 2017 is open-knit, silky and incredibly inviting. Weightless and airy, with lovely nuance, the 2017 is a...
Price: $29.95

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from a terrific site just outside of Santa Maria. It has more citrus and minerality, with some marine oyster shell notes, medium to full body, gorgeous acidity, and a layered, seamless texture. This is fabulous stuff all the way and one of the gems in the vintage. As with the Los Alamos Chardonnay, this spent 17 months in 15% new French oak, with plenty of time on lees (no stirring)." (10/2019) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard is ver...
Price: $34.95

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lemon preserves on toast, wet stone and early spring flowers show on the nose of this bottling. There is a toasty quality to the sip, which is clean and linear in structure, without anything flashy. (MK)" (05/2020) K&L Notes: Winery notes: A long-standing member of the Santa Barbara winemaking community, Whitcraft Winery is obsessed with producing the highest quality wines. Our signature varietals are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah while also producing a variety of other unique, handcrafted wines.
Price: $49.99

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of the larger production single vineyards as well as the only one to go out to distribution, the 2017 Chardonnay 3D comes from a more easterly site that was planted in 2007. It's a richer Chardonnay and offers an ethereal, gorgeously pure bouquet of caramelized citrus, white flowers, pineapple, honeysuckle, and toasted bread. Beautifully layered, seamless, and polished, with medium to full-bodied richness, it's another rocking effort. This was another thrilling lineup from Greg Brewer, and I consistently rate these wines as s...


92 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Presqu'ile Vineyard is bright, focused and very nicely articulated. Citrus, almond, floral and saline notes add to a feel of precision and tension. The 15% new oak shapes the wine's texture and flavor profile, but is very well judged." (09/2019) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Presqu'ile Vineyard opens with mineral notions of crushed stone and toast, fleshing out to honey-drizzled apples, sliced almond and white peach plus a Greek yogurt tinge. Medium-bodied, the palate gives up prett...
Price: $29.95

93 points Vinous: "Foxen's 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU is creamy, supple and expressive, with striking depth and nuance. In 2017, the Block UU has an extra kick of texture that is hugely appealing. Lemon confit, orchard fruit and chamomile all grace this compelling and wonderfully inviting Chardonnay from Foxen. What a pretty wine this is." 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A warm butter aroma meets with lemon spray, citrus pith, wet gravel and crushed limestone on the nose of this bottling from a coveted single block in a historic vineyard....
Price: Hidden

Former Pax assistant winemaker Duncan Arnot Meyers and cooper Nathan Roberts produce beautiful, terroir-driven, varietally pure small production wines. They launched in 2003 and have been slowly, steadily gaining cult status.
Price: $59.95


94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A brilliant Chardonnay, the 2011 Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard is perfumed, complex and layered, with mint, citrus blossom and edgy minerality all emerging from the glass. Medium-bodied and seamless, with a rich, full mid-palate, perfect balance and building richness, it stays elegant and shows nothing but class. Enjoy it over the coming decade. Drink now-2023. These knockout efforts are made by Brian Talley and were some of the most impressive Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs I tasted during my more than two week trip ...
Price: $39.99

Winery notes: We knew that the 2015 Golden Slope was going to be a hard act to follow, but once again the Sta. Rita Hills reminded us why it is (in our opinion) one of the best places on the planet for Chardonnay. Notes of toasted marcona almonds, lemon sorbet, and river rocks leap out of the glass followed by subtle hints of burnt marshmallow, brioche, and vanilla. This vintage is a great example of why we have endearingly nicknamed this wine the "Goldilox" Chardonnay.
Price: $44.99

2017 Peake Ranch Santa Barbara Country Chardonnay
New!
Peake Ranch Winery is only a few vintages in, but already they're on to something: sexy, expressive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and a soupçon of Grenache from excellent vineyard sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley. Owner John Wagner is a physicist-turned-hedge-fund-manager-turned-winemaker, who developed a passion for the grape when he bought Sierra Madre vineyard and got "sucked in," as he puts it. He's brought talented folks on board-an exciting young winemaker named Wynne Solomon who cut her teeth at Melville; Michael Anderson, a ve...
Price: $39.99

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato’s superb 2016 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard reveals attractive aromas of yellow orchard fruit, citrus zest, peach and honeycomb. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with more textural glossiness than the Belle de Jour, underpinned by bright acids and concluding with an intense, chalky finish. This is quite structurally tight-knit right now and will need a couple of years in the cellar to blossom. (WK)" (04/2018) 94 point...
Price: $74.95

93 points Wine & Spirits: "This grows on the east side of the Hills, where the fruit can capture a modicum of warmth. The wine smells of wet loam and sea air, with a walnut-skin lining. Flavors of crisp apple and lemon channel those mineral notes toward a brisk, taut finish. For plank-roasted trout." (10/2019) 92 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous wine built on freshness and cut. Expressive floral notes add shades of nuance to this super-expressive, complex Chardonnay from Melville. The 2016 is the first vintage ...
Price: $29.95

93 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is a very pretty, open-knit wine that will drink well upon release. The Los Alamos is not quite as complex or dynamic as the very finest Chardonnays in this range, but it more than makes up for that with its soft curves and open-knit, welcoming personality. Baked apple, lemon confit, spice and a touch of vanillin grace this creamy, alluring Chardonnay. (AG)" (09/2019)
Price: $24.95



93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Steely on the nose, this always impressive bottling by a San Francisco accountant-turned-winemaker shows delicate aromas of lime blossom, chalk, sea salt, Asian pear and blanched almond. There is a tense grip to the palate and laser-sharp acidity, delivering flavors of lime sorbet and nectarine with a flash of light marshmallow on the deep finish. (MK)" Wine Spectator: "Fresh-tasting, with lively green apple and citrus flavors that lead into dried, savory herbal notes. Key lime pie accents emerge on the finish. (KM, Web Only-...
Price: $29.95

90 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The largest production cuvée is the 2016 Chardonnay, a fresh, lively, classic wine. Hints of lemon, tart citrus, and pineapple, medium body, juicy acidity, and beautiful purity of fruit all make for a Chardonnay that over-delivers." (10/2018) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills was barrel fermented and aged eight months in about 20% new oak. It has a very toasty nose with gunflint hints over baked yellow apple, white peach, pastry crust, lemon meringue and banana chip. Medium to full-bod...
Price: $24.95


96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The most shut down of the three Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay Rosemary's Vineyard comes from a fabulous site in the Arroyo Grande Valley and was aged 15 months in 20% new French oak. Reticent notes of orchard fruits, white flowers, oyster shell, and crushed citrus all flow to a concentrated, rich, medium-bodied Chardonnay that's beautifully balanced, has a smoking sense of salinity, and delivers a great finish. Do your best to hide bottles for 2-3 years and it should cruise in cold cellars for over a decade." (10/2019) 93 poi...
Price: $44.95

92 points Vinous: "The 2018 Chardonnay Inox is a big wine with real density and tons of fruit. Tropical notes, yellow orchard fruit and white flowers all meld together in a rich Chardonnay that shows notable intensity, especially considering it was aged in steel and did not undergo malolactic fermentation. (AG)" (09/2019) K&L Notes: Winery notes: This specific wine originates from the first twenty-nine rows of Block A, a cold and inhospitable 1.8 acre section on the west side of our estate planted to Clone 76 on extremely sandy soils. We love the marri...
Price: $39.99

95 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is an arrestingly beautiful wine that will stop readers dead in their tracks. Rich and powerful on the palate, yet with tremendous tension, the 2016 has it all. I especially admire the wine's delineation and overall pedigree. What a gorgeous wine this. (AG)" (09/2018) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is winemaker Jim Clendenen’s take on the region’s most important vineyard. It is light in the glass yet with savory aromas of chalk, butter, hazelnut and sandalwood. Rounded flavors of lemo...
Price: $34.95

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Toasty aromas of seared lemon, citrus pith and ashy Brie rind show on the nose of this bottling from the longtime grape-growing family. The palate is extremely focused and sharp, offering lime sorbet, green pear and more pithy qualities, wrapped in a compellingly grippy texture. (MK) " (12/2018) 90 points Vinous: "The 2015 Chardonnay Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) has developed a good bit of flavor complexity over the last year. Orchard fruit, yellow flowers, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all develop in the glass. The 2015 h...
Price: Hidden

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills was aged 12 months in used, 500-liter barrels and another six months in tank. It's youthfully shy on the nose, slowly giving up notions of saline, crushed shell, Greek yogurt and orange blossom with pie crust, Golden delicious apple, white peaches and notes of honey and hazelnut. Light to medium-bodied, it offers great balance of spicy fruit and mineral notions framed by tangy acidity and finishing long and textured. (EB)" (09/2019) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tightly wound o...
Price: $29.95