Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Saintsbury 2004 Chardonnay, Brown Ranch (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)


2004 Chardonnay, Brown Ranch
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

This is Sainstbury’s luxury Chardonnay. Double the price of its “regular” bottling of this varietal (from the same vineyard), this single-vineyard Chardonnay is well-appointed alright, but don’t think for a second it’s what I’ll call the “old-style” California Chardonnay. That is, it’s not sweet, nor is it over the top accentuated by an oak tree. No, this is a gorgeous, long-lived wine made in the Burgundian manner.

It’s stylish, rich and perfectly balanced, with lovely tropical fruit. It’s a keeper too, I’m guessing up to 10 years. Now, that’s saying something for a California Chardonnay. If you can afford it, add this to your shopping cart, along with a growing list of other such Chardonnays you need to come back to.

Saintsbury has owned the Brown Ranch since 1990, nine years after David Graves and Dick Ward began learning about Carneros fruit. This is the ninth vintage from this parcel. The wine fermented for seven months in French oak – 40 percent of which was new – and then another half-year in stainless steel on the lees. There were less than 1,900 six-bottle cases produced.

Reviewed October 25, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Saintsbury
Vineyard: Brown Ranch
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $39.95

Review Date: 10/25/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.