Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay
Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

California, United States 2013 (750mL)
Regular price$55.00

Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

Long time readers of our Daily Discoveries will quickly recognize the names Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman. As they have risen through the ranks of California winemakers, we’ve featured many wines that are the result of their talents and hard work, across many different winemaking projects. But it all started with a dedication to, or perhaps an obsession with, Central Coast Chardonnay. Their very first wine was a Chardonnay from the legendary Sanford and Benedict vineyard, and their very first label was Sandhi. To celebrate their almost 15 years of success with this now-world-recognized wine, they just released a very small amount of their 2013 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay, and it is sizzling good. Lovers of classic, cool-climate California wines will rejoice, and even the most diehard white Burgundy aficionado will have to admit that this bottle is downright delicious. We have a precious few cases, grab some before they’re gone forever!

As the force majeure behind the world-famous wine list at the now (sadly) closed RN74, and then as the Beverage Director for the Mina Group of restaurants writ large, Raj Parr compiled one of the best collections of Burgundy on the planet. Traveling and meeting with the top tier of winemaking talent in this historic region gave him the opportunity to routinely taste the true masterpieces of Chardonnay, from the greatest vineyards where this prolific variety reaches its pinnacle. So, to say that he was picky about what California versions made it to his list would be an understatement. But when he was introduced to the old school classics from the Central Coast, from producers like Ojai and Au Bon Climat, he knew he had found his local source for excellence. In 2004 he met Sashi Moorman, then working at Ojai Vineyards, and their partnership began, quite literally, as the name “Sandhi” is sanskrit for collaboration. 

Their first release was a 2009 Chardonnay from the famous Sanford and Benedict vineyard. Since then they have stayed steadfast to their mission: Source the best fruit from cool-climate vineyards along the Central Coast, and use minimal interference in the cellar to ensure that the terroir of these prime parcels shines through. The special library release we have for you today comes from three different vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills: Rita’s Crown, Wenzlau, and Bentrock. Rita’s Crown, the highest elevation vineyard in the AVA,  is steep and southern facing, bringing the intensity of the sun and wind—and a resulting power—to the blend. Wenzlau is the warmest of the three sites, though still very coastal, and adds richness and texture. Bentrock is super cold, with a very long growing season, and a dense layer of mineral shale, all adding saline minerality and acidic structure. All the fruit is very gently pressed in tanks before racking into neutral, 500-liter barrels for indigenous yeast fermentation and 10 months of aging. Then, just as most of Raj’s favorite White Burgundy producers do, the wines are racked back into stainless steel tanks for an additional resting, and settling, over six months.

The sizzling, towering structure of this 2013 is what has allowed it to age extremely gracefully in the cool cellars of the winery. Serve this wine cool, at around 50 degrees, in your best Burgundy stem. Give it a quick decant to let any cellar funk blow off, and then you’ll be rewarded with many layers of green apple, white peach, Meyer lemon, Key lime, raw almond, white flowers, honeysuckle, and a very long, saline and crushed rock finish. Serve it with fresh Pacific salmon or your favorite roast chicken dish (we’re partial to the Zuni Cafe version). Only about 2,400 cases of this wine were made, and that was 10 years ago, so there are precious few bottles available today. Grab a few before they’re gone, you’ll be very glad you did!

Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

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