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2021 Land of Saints Chardonnay

MSRP: $30.00
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United States
Central Coast, California
Santa Barbara County

As Jon Bonne says in his excellent book The New California Wine, it’s “one of the most porcelain and transformative wines I’ve had from California.”

It’s named “Land of Saints” – both for the two Santas from which it hails and for Osborne’s husband and winery partner Jason, who’s from Cornwall – which was apparently loaded with saints in the Middle Ages. (I’ve known a few Cornish people myself, and I guess the saints have long since departed.)

It’s lower in alcohol. (This 2020, at 12.9%, is the richest and ripest vintage yet.) And it’s lithe and intense and both extremely drinkable and extremely appetizing and food friendly.

But as Osbourne and various sommeliers have commented, it also has the aromas, spice and flavor profile (and extra dimensions) of a classic Meursault: one of the leaner, more sophisticated ones like Jobard or Fichet. (Often when California winemakers invoke Meursault, it’s a signal their Chardonnays are fat, heavy and sloppy: not here.)

I have to say, I loved all of the Land of Saints wines (as I knew I would). But this Chardonnay just blew me away.

From the winery:

This Chardonnay is reminiscent of a Meursault. Classic hints of lemon, lemon curd, baking spice with a hint of vanilla. Aged in 30% new French barriques there is a perfectly balanced textural tone throughout the wine, with plenty of mineral cut to back it up.