The 130-acre Sanford & Benedict Vineyard was planted in 1971, in what is now called the Santa Rita Hills, one of the most exciting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay growing areas in the country. It is currently owned by Robert Atkin and has, for over three decades, been considered one of the crown jewels of Santa Barbara County. The shaley-clay loam soil adds character to all the wines from this vineyard.
This is a full-bodied Chardonnay with rich pear, pineapple, melon and fig characteristics. In some vintages, hints of apricot and nectarine also add to delicious layers of rich fruit and racy acidity that fan out on the finish. These older vines make a concentrated Chardonnay complemented by spicy hazelnut, earthy flavors and racy acidity that come from the shaley-loam soils.
Rich yellow color. Intense aromas of passionfruit, banana, orange blossoms, and fig. The wine starts with a firm structure, yet softens into a long, rich finish of peach and honey flavors. This wine should drink well through 2013. - Bill Brosseau. Director of Winemaking