91 Point Crushable Cali Chard: 2015 Sandhi Chardonnay Santa Barbara County

Posted on: 09/28/18 12:00 PM


There is no shame in preaching the gospel of good value California Chardonnay, just so long as it is produced from the gifted hands of Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman. Mr. Parr and his partner have been putting us under their spell for a few years now, be it through their collaborating effort in Sandhi (as in the case here), or Piedrasassi or Domaine de la Côte. With a combination of Old-World principles, smart, sensitive winemaking and a key eye for sourcing from some of St. Rita’s best terroir, it’s an understatement to say things have worked out quite well for these two. As you will find in their superb “intro” Santa Barbara Chardonnay – all de-classified single vineyard fruit – you can’t beat this for the money. No one in North America is producing this level of quality for these low prices. No one.

2015 Sandhi Chardonnay Santa Barbara County

“The 2015 Chardonnay Santa Barbara County reveals aromas of poached pear, smoke, grapefruit pith and peach kernel, framed by light reduction. On the palate, it’s glossily textural and medium-bodied, with succulent and lovely balance. Structurally quite open-knit, this is the most accessible of Sandhi’s Chardonnays. Drawing on a number of old-vine parcels across Santa Barbara County, this cuvée also benefits from the later press fractions from single-vineyard bottlings.” 91 Points, Wine Advocate

More about the Wine

It’s one thing to say you have Old-World values, and another to actually have Old-World values. Sandhi’s wines clearly carry a Burgundian perspective and go to great lengths to accomplish what many others in California do not. Freshness over alcohol, finesse over power, minerality over butter. The results are not only a breath of fresh air, but more importantly, what could have been a snobby or precious tribute to Burgundy is instead a brilliantly accessible bottle that will delight everyone.

The magic here is in the balance. Mr. Moorman and Parr adhere to the old school ways: the wine is wild yeast fermented, and they do not add sugar, enzymes, nutrients or any color to their wines. Yet 2015 Sandhi Chardonnay is still very much a wine of today, particularly in its unctuous texture and ripe St. Rita fruit. I have zero apprehension bringing a bottle to my mother in law who enjoys very California California wines, OR my fellow Burgundy nerds. For that fact alone, this delightful accessibility, Mr. Moorman and Parr deserve our thanks … and hard-earned dollars.

Posted in Reserve List By Tim Sellon