For three decades Cambria Estate Winery has helped define the Santa Maria Valley. This Chardonnay offers a bevy of subtlety; lemon-lime, guava, honeysuckle, granny Smith apple and white peach. Nothing here is over the top. Four different clones were used on their estate property. “I sourced mainly older vines planted in 1971,” says winemaker Jill Russell. To that she added fruit from “younger blocks planted in 2012.” The 2019 strikes a deft balance between the use of oak aging (nine months), stainless steel, barrel and malolactic fermentations. This allows for enough acidity to make it fresh and lively, while still having a smooth and seamless feel. Though this is a ubiquitous Chardonnay, the 2019 shows the quality of the fruit and land.
ORIGIN: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara
PRICE: $22 /750 ml
SCORE: 91 POINTS