Located in the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills AVA is an ideal environment for growing intensely flavored full-bodied Chardonnay.
The AVA is distinguished by the very cool and long growing season created by a convergence of unusual geography in this part of California. Our southerly latitude means that frost danger is usually behind us in February of most years.
This leads to early bud break, which can start the growing season as much as a month earlier than growing regions to our North. During the summer, heat rising from the Mojave Desert 90 miles inland and the eastern boundary of our unique east-west system of mountains and valleys draws in cold air from the Pacific Ocean 15 miles to our West.
This guarantees cool days and chilly nights during the long growing season of the nine-mile length of the Santa Rita Hills AVA.
A blend of four neighboring vineyards, the 2006 Chardonnay SRH is winemaker Bruce McGuire’s selection to showcase the ripe, concentrated Chardonnay for which the Santa Rita Hills is known. Bruce had each vineyard block picked as the fruit ripened about three weeks later than average to the late date of Nov. 5th.
This wine is a good choice to pair with many cows’ milk cheeses such as Brie or Camembert and, as a nice surprise; the fantastic washed-rind triple-creme Cow Girl Creamery Red Hawk. Richer foods such as roast chicken or whole, farm raised striped bass are also ideal pairings.
This bottling will reward aging through 2012 and promises to be quite showy through 2016.