2018 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay Cambria Estate Winery Santa Maria Valley

Cambria 2018 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay (1)

90 points, AppellationsTen, Michael Rockich

Katherine’s Vineyard 2018 Chardonnay from Cambria Estate Winery is quite a price performer!  If you like Chardonnay, and who doesn’t, then consider this one.  I think I can safely say use that adage because it is so widely planted in many nations.

For example, in the mid-20th Century Chardonnay was 75% of Chile’s white grapes, and in the early 17th-Century it made up 93% of all of South Africa’s grapevines.  Today Chardonnay comprises the most acreage of any wine grape in the world!  However, Chardonnay’s ubiquitousness may be the very reason it isn’t easy to find the wine you like.  Just too many choices to consider, and how many are well made?  So, when an attractive Chardonnay presents itself, take action.  I can safely say that the 2018 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay is worth a go!

The Cambria Estate Winery, sustainably farmed and family owned by the Jackson family, is located on California’s Central Coast where the foothills swell from the floor of the valley just off the Foxen Trail on the Santa Maria Bench, in Santa Barbara County a bit south of the city of Santa Maria.  The winery’s address in point of fact is on Chardonnay Lane, perfect for this review.

Jackson Family Wines established Cambria Winery in 1986 and Jess Jackson’s daughters, Katie and Julia, were raised near Cambria’s vines.  Along with Barbara Banke, they are the proprietors, hence the designation Katherine’s Vineyard.

The estate’s wines come from four dissimilar vineyards, each conveying its unique characteristics to the wines.  The Chardonnay sources from Katherine’s Vineyard, consisting of 34 blocks of various clones on soils of shallow sand, granite, shale, limestone, and fossilized seashells.

Winemaking consisted of whole cluster pressing, after which 75% of the juice went to barrel fermentation, with 25% to stainless.  To finish, the young wine was placed in oak casks, 20% of which were new, to age sur lie for eight months.  The alcohol level reached 14.1%.

This straw colored, golden-hued, 100% Chardonnay opens with subtle aromas of Asian pear and citrus blossom, which are followed by Golden apple, quince, and a trace of butterscotch especially on the rear palate.  Cambria has achieved a very user-friendly wine showcasing ripe fruit, a really pleasing roundness with smooth palate-feel, and good balance including the level of acidity.  Finishes well.  About $25.

A sample for review.

(1) credit JFW

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