Saturday, January 31, 2009

Santa Barbara Crossing Santa Barbara Chardonnay, 2005

The movie "Sideways" popularized the Pinot Noir wines of Santa Barbara County, but the Chardonnays of this appellation are also worth a look. I tried this at a recent D&W tasting at Charlie Foster's in Kalamazoo and was impressed enough by the quality and price ($6.99) to spring for a few bottles.

With a light yellow color, the wine looks younger than its years. Aromas are fresh and lovely--white peaches, pears, flowers and a hint of passion fruit. There's a delicacy to this wine that is quite attractive to both the nose and palate. It captures the charm and complexity of Chardonnay without the oaky extras. Citrus and apples are apparent on the crisp finish. This, I believe, has been aged in new wood, but the oak is not at all apparent, and it has the qualities I love in a good New Zealand unoaked Chardonnay. It's my style and well worth $6.99, although I have yet to see it in the shops.


  1. The 2009 is also stellar: all melolactic, some oak, and has that Santa Barbara sort of Chardonnay twang to it.

    As the wines from this label are from a cool climate area, the grapes hang on the vines longer, which also means they pick up more nutrients from the soil. All of the rolling hills in Santa Barbara also make for a great terroir for grape-growing.

    Paul Kalemkiarian
    President, Wine of the Month Club

  2. Thanks, Paul. I ended up buying half a case of the 2005, but they are gone now. I'll keep an eye out for the 2009.

  3. Thanks, Fred. As far as I know, the 2009 can still be purchased. The 2009 Chenin Blanc is also excellent.