Mission Codename Modern Epic
That’s what you might hear if you tied to pay this little for a wine this good. But, because you are a Wine Spies Operative, you have special access to today’s Matias 2015 Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay. This wine was made by Dan Fitzgerald, who made Robert Sinskey famous for Chardonnay.
This Chardonnay shimmers with a bright yellow gold hue. The nose is fresh and clean, with a delightful upfront note of a fresh baked Meyer lemon bar complete with the crumbly shortbread crust. On the palate stone fruit alights the scene, with apricot, quince, and loquat to name a few. There’s also satsuma and Fiji apple in the mix. Pulls off the modern Chard feat of offering creamy flavor and rich body, while still delivering nice crisp acidity in the leaner style. This chameleon would be perfect for a full charcuterie spread of various morsels like strong cheese, cured meats, nuts with honey and cornichon pickles.
We know that you’ve been waiting for the return of Matias Wines, and winemaker Dan Fitzgerald, who rose to winemaking fame at Williams-Selyem Winery and Robert Sinskey Vineyards. If you haven’t tasted Dan’s wine, this is your chance to try one that delivers tremendous value - at a truly great price.
About the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA:
The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area) is located in Monterey County, California. It is part of the broader Monterey AVA which is one of California’s finest. This important sub-AVA is located in the Santa Lucia Mountains above the Salinas Valley, which is one of California’s premier agricultural areas.
Over 2,300 acres (931 ha) of vineyards are planted in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, with vineyards that rest at elevations as high as 1,200 feet above sea level. About half of the grapes planted here are Pinot Noir. The region enjoys cool morning fog and breezes from Monterey Bay followed by warm afternoons, thanks to direct southern exposures to the sun.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
95 Points - “This epic Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay provides rich California fruit, intense hillside character and a Burgundy-like finesse of body and texture that I adore. Clover honey, lemon zest and fresh cream mingle on the nose with toasted almonds and a touch of cinnamon and caramel. There is also a mouthwatering buttered popcorn element that lingers lovingly. The palate is full yet elegant, revealing vanilla infused Cream Brûlée with lightly toasted oak that envelopes a core of simmered pears and baked yellow apple fruit. The deliciously nutty marzipan and lemon drop finish is super long and extremely well balanced demanding many more sips. This delectable Chardonnay is wonderful sipped on its own but will glam up any poultry dish especially crispy roast chicken and the creamy texture of this wine would further enhance with the addition of a mushroom sauce (think Porcini).” - Walter Moore, CSW, WSET
94 Points - “Long before the big Chardonnay boom swept across America in the 1980s, some of the early plantings of this noble white grape variety were concentrated on the sloping hillside of the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County. Influenced by the unique mixture of gravelly, sandy and alluvial-based soils, foggy mornings, warm days and powerful maritime winds in the late afternoon; this lovely patchwork of vineyards is now home to some of the finest Chardonnay selections of California’s Central Coast. For a stylish example of the region, try the Matias 2015 Chardonnay. With a beautiful pale golden hue, the wine opens up with fragrant scents of ripe stone fruits, ginger, orange blossom, crushed rock and spice. In the glass, the generous flavors of white peach, baked apple, mango, grapefruit, lemon chiffon and subtle nuance of fine French oak, which caress the palate with a steady flow of creamy texture, tangy acidity, and a long, dry and graceful finish. Together, the wonderful balance of elegance and harmony of this wine is a pleasure to the palate, and a magnificent offering of a world-class Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands at an amicable price. With fine cuisine, serve this wine with soft cheeses, green salads with a light, creamy dressing, gourmet sandwiches, fresh pasta with white sauce, risotto with wild mushrooms, pan-seared scallops, roasted chicken with fresh herbs, and grilled pork chops.” - Chris Sawyer, “Sommelier to the Stars”
What the Winery Says
2015 Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
- Dan Fitzgerald
- Associate Winemaker
- Nicole Michael
- Santa Lucia Highlands
- Soberanes Vineyard
- 100% French Oak, 40% new from the Vosges forest of France.