2011 Ken Brown Rita’s Crown Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.64, 67 cases, $42. Inaugural bottling from this vineyard, one of the newest in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA (planted in 2007). One of the highest planted vineyards at 600 to 950 feet in the AVA. Soils are sandy loam with ancient seashell deposits. Dijon clone 76. Whole cluster pressed, 100% barrel fermented with 70% malolactic fermentation, and aged sur lie for 11 months in 17% new French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Attractive aromas of white peach, lemon curd and iron are replicated on the palate. The French oak is beautifully integrated offering the slightest hint of vanilla and toast. The wine is smoothly textured in the mouth and slightly viscous, with vibrant underlying acidity and some persistence of juicy green apple on the finish. Very classy. Score: 92. Reviewed November 9, 2013

Winery: Ken Brown Wines
From article: Winemaker Ken Brown: Veteran Still On His Game