Cambria Estate, Santa Maria Valley (California) Chardonnay “Clone 4” 2015

($30): Santa Maria Valley, though located in Southern California, actually has some very cool areas because the valley runs East-West instead of the more usual North-South orientation.  As such, it draws cool air from the Pacific Ocean.  Indeed, growers determine what to plant where by assessing how much heat is needed to ripen a particular variety — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir favor western sites while Cabernet Sauvignon needs the heat of more inland — eastern — plots.  Cambria’s Clone 4 Chardonnay shows the restraint and vibrancy of grapes grown in cooler climes.  A touch of creaminess, without a trace of weight, adds to its allure.
90 Michael Apstein Aug 1, 2017