2013 Santa Barbara Landing Winery Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, California, USA


For whites, we normally like to go simple.  Perhaps we have not developed a thoroughly complex profile with any white yet, but we still enjoy whites for those easy sips.  (Especially when we are looking for something to help us survive humid NYC summers.)

While simple, the 2013 Santa Barbara Landing Winery Chardonnay ($4.99 at Trader Joe’s) is surprisingly one of the more enjoyable white wines we have sampled.  With its smooth crisp taste and affordable price, it will remain a rotating favorite of ours.  On this particular evening, we paired the Chardonnay with a swordfish we pan seared in a little sample of the wine itself.  The combination of flavors on the fish mellowed out the sips of wine itself, and made the wine smoother on the palette.

From the back of the bottle: “Old Mission Santa Barbara, “Queen of the Missions,” was the tenth mission founded by Franciscans in California.  Established December 4, 1786, on the Feast of Saint Barbara, the mission still stands and is an active Roman Catholic Church.  Enjoy a taste of history with a meal or a toast with friends.”

Rating: 2.8 corks
Price: $4.99
Designation:  Chardonnay
Appellation:  Santa Barbara, California, USA
Winery: Santa Barbara Landing Winery
Variety: Chardonnay
Category: White
Alcohol: 13.0%
Bottle Size: 750mL


Sight – 3 / 5 corks

The wine carries a lemon-straw color.  Against text, the wine can be seen with some translucent clarity, although with a hint of dustiness as well.


Smell – 3.5 / 5 corks

The smell of this Chardonnay was divine, to put it simply.  There was a definite initial crisp scent to the wine.  Upon more whiffs, we smelled some butter mixed with summer fruits such as peach, grapefruit, and clementine.  There is also a layer of sweetness, reminiscent  of bell peppers.

Touch – 2.5 / 5 corks

Respectable.  The crispness on the nose followed through on the tongue.  The smooth balance of the wine was also off-dry and low in acid.  It was somewhat complex, providing a light-medium body.

Taste – 2.5 / 5 corks

The wine had already reeled us in with its scent.  That said, the wine does not develop more on the palette beyond those identified smells.  We tasted the flavor intensity from the smoothness of butter and the crispness of the grapefruit.  With some light oak also mixed in, it did leave a nice long finish.

Overall – 2.8 / 5 corks



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