INSIDER'S PICK: 2015 BREWER-CLIFTON CHARDONNAY SANTA RITA HILLS (Vinous/Wine Advocate/Wine Spectator 92 points) $29.99
It isn't often that we can offer a tasting on wine that has equally great press from the 3 major wine review organizations we observe the most. It's even less frequent to be able to offer discounts on that wine. Lesser wines are frequently snapped up at this price in just a few weeks with even the slightest praise. Brewer-Clifton has been a leading force in the emergence of the Santa Rita Hills over the last two decades, creating vineyard distinctive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay from local sites that captured many awards and high scores over the years. They were also one of the first to create an urban tasting room in Lompoc, what later became known as the Lompoc 'Wine Ghetto' and an integral part of customers tasting and discovering the up-and-coming wineries. At times their opulent, even super-sized style has drawn criticism for big alcohol and a perceived unbalance of fruit and (lack of) acidity, especially in their single vineyard wines. Over time, and especially since they have been able to get their fruit from 100% estate controlled vineyards, they have reached more of an equilibrium. While nobody will confuse these wines with Burgundy, or even a Californian winery emulating Burgundy. they have locked in on their style and are delivering on their concept.
Bright golden in the glass, the first whiff leaves no secrets as to what the wine is, with loads of sweet citrus and lemon curd as well as a moderate touch of toasty oak. This want to boisterous Californian sunshine in a glass, and it's hitting on all cylinders. The palate is lush and robust as expected, but isn't dominated by buttery creaminess, with the rich fruit instead supported by a surprising line of lemon zest that brings out tons of complex orange and white fruit tones and finishes, dare I say, quite light on its feet. A big wine that deserves to be paired with an equally big dish, like scallops in a butter sauce or salmon, but don't be afraid of enjoying the subtle character hiding beneath.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!