Ojai Chardonnay 2021, Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California

Rancho Ontiveros is another cool, windswept site in the Santa Maria Valley. It?s roughly two miles inland from Presqu?ile, nestled amongst gently rolling hills in the southern pocket of the valley. It’s a bit higher elevation than the rest of the valley (over 700?), so it’s especially raked by cool Santa Maria wind. The vines are planted on Garey soils, which being a deep and very sandy loam, provides little in the way of nutrients for the vines. The Chardonnay that we source here is the Wente clone, which is known to give a richer expression of Chardonnay. But with the poor soils and windy environment, the vines are challenged so the richness of this fruit is tempered as well. “This 2021 bottling is our first from Rancho Ontiveros, and we couldn’t be more excited about this newcomer. Everything here is very Chardonnay, in a classically proportioned way. You find vivid earthy scents of wet stones, along with white nectarine, dried apples, shortbread, and raw nut flesh. Little teases of tropicality are in the mix too. It hits the palate with a crack and quickly expands into a full textured mid-palate bound by ropes of minerality. Again you find the white stone fruits, along with candied lemon, juicy apple, then white pepper and a coolness of mint and stones in the finish. It drinks like excellent Macon with its corseted sense of curvature and mineral buoyance.” – winery