Richard Longoria Chardonnay

Our Wines / Chardonnay

For over thirty years we have sourced our Chardonnay grapes exclusively from vineyards within the Santa Rita Hills viticultural appellation. From my extensive years of experience, I have come to favor this cool climate region for providing the type of fruit that enables me to make a more European style of wine. Full barrel fermentation in 100% French oak barrels, partial malo-lactic conversion, and aging “sur lies” for almost one year are the techniques we employ. These practices yield wines with complexity and richness which we feel, combined with the vibrant minerality that comes naturally from the grapes, produce wines with the quality that characterizes world class Chardonnay.

The production of our Chardonnnays is very limited, and therefore the wines are primarily available through our tasting room or online store, with only very limited distribution elsewhere.

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2014 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana
Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega (39%) Rita’s Crown (28%) Kessler-Haak (20%) Zotovich (13%)

Production: 209 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.5%
pH: 3.32
Titratable acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $45

 

Inspiration
I’ve named our finest blend of Chardonnay after my wife and winery partner,
Diana. Drawing on my 30 years of experience with Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
grapes, I blend each vintage to epitomize this world-class wine region’s highest
quality Chardonnay.
Harvest
After one of the warmest growing seasons on record, the harvest at Rita’s Crown
Vineyard occurred on August 8, 2014, making this the earliest harvest in my career.
The remaining Chardonnay grapes were brought in during the last week of August,
at a relatively low average sugar content of 22.7 Brix and high levels of natural acidity.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before
being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wines produced from
each of the four vineyards aged separately for ten months before being blended
and prepared for bottling in August 2015. Just 20% of the wine for this blend was
aged in new barrels, and 20% underwent malo-lactic fermentation.
The Wine
The wine has a pale gold color, with tantalizing aromas of spiced pears, buttered
toast and crème brûlée. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with lean
flavors of green apple crisp, crème anglaise and a hint of sea salt. The wine’s
high acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.
Food Pairings
This elegant, richly textured wine will pair well with a variety of foods. I suggest
trying it with grilled fish with a lemon and breadcrumb crust, lobster with clarified
butter and roasted chicken with herbs.

Inspiration
I’ve named our finest blend of Chardonnay after my wife and winery partner, Diana. Drawing on my 30 years of experience with Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay grapes, I blend each vintage to epitomize this world-class wine region’s highest quality Chardonnay.

Harvest
After one of the warmest growing seasons on record, the harvest at Rita’s Crown Vineyard occurred on August 8, 2014, making this the earliest harvest in my career. The remaining Chardonnay grapes were brought in during the last week of August, at a relatively low average sugar content of 22.7 Brix and high levels of natural acidity.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wines produced from each of the four vineyards aged separately for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling in August 2015. Just 20% of the wine for this blend was aged in new barrels, and 20% underwent malo-lactic fermentation.

The Wine
The wine has a pale gold color, with tantalizing aromas of spiced pears, buttered toast and crème brûlée. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with lean flavors of green apple crisp, crème anglaise and a hint of sea salt. The wine’s high acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.

Food Pairings 
This elegant, richly textured wine will pair well with a variety of foods. I suggest trying it with grilled fish with a lemon and breadcrumb crust, lobster with clarified butter and roasted chicken with herbs.

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2014 Chardonnay
Fe Ciega Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega

Production: 43 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.49
Titratable acidity: 0.61 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: Two to four years
Bottle price: $50

History
In 2008, I chose to plant a small amount of the rare Mt. Eden clone of Chardonnay at Fe Ciega Vineyard because of the impressive wines I’ve tasted from this clone. This is my second Chardonnay release from this small planting of less than one acre.

The Harvest
The growing season of 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area.  As a result, we harvested the grapes on August 23rd, seventeen days earlier than in 2013. The grapes had a sugar content of 23.3 Brix and outstanding acidity.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation and aging. After 10 months I selected the barrels for this specific blend. Just 26% of the blend aged in new French oak barrels. I generally attempt to inhibit our Chardonnay from undergoing malo-lactic fermentation, but the Fe Ciega lot had a mind of its own and 74% of this blend underwent this secondary fermentation.

The Wine
The wine has a medium greenish gold color, with fragrant aromas of mushrooms sautéed in butter with a hint of pears in the background. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with earthy flavors in the mid-palate and spices in the finish. The wine’s high acidity provides a long lingering finish.

Food Pairings
This wine will pair well with a variety of foods, including sea bass, lake trout and chicken dishes.

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2014 Chardonnay
Rita's Crown Vineyard - Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Rita's Crown Vineyard

Production: 46 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.3%
pH: 3.27
Titratable acidity: 0.71 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Three to four years
Bottle price: $50

 

The Vineyard
Rita’s Crown Vineyard has quickly gained acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay
produced from its fruit. I source my grapes from a small 1.5 acre block planted to
the Dijon clone 96. The site is situated on a steep south-facing slope containing
rocky clay loam soil.
The Harvest
The growing season in 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area.
Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay
grapes ripened nearly four weeks earlier than the year before. The grapes were
harvested on August 8th, with a sugar content of 22.4 Brix.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours
before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. After a 23-day
fermentation, the barrels were consolidated and began an 11 month aging
period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks for
the first three months to promote a richer mouth feel. Just 20% of the wine
aged in new French oak barrels and it did not undergo malolactic fermentation.
The wine was bottled in August 2015.
The Wine
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas are an intriguing blend
of caramel, butterscotch, and Key Lime pie. On the palate, the wine is medium
bodied with expansive flavors of caramel apples and ends with a crisp,
refreshing finish.
Food Pairings
This elegant, crisp Chardonnay will pair well with a wide variety of food including

The Vineyard
Rita’s Crown Vineyard has quickly gained acclaim for the outstanding Chardonnay produced from its fruit. I source my grapes from a small 1.5 acre block planted to the Dijon clone 96. The site is situated on a steep south-facing slope containing rocky clay loam soil.

The Harvest
The growing season in 2014 was one of the warmest on record in our area. Because of this site’s south-facing exposure and thinner soils, the Chardonnay grapes ripened nearly four weeks earlier than the year before. The grapes were harvested on August 8th, with a sugar content of 22.4 Brix.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. After a 23-day fermentation, the barrels were consolidated and began an 11 month aging period. The lees at the bottom of the barrels were stirred every two weeks for the first three months to promote a richer mouth feel. Just 20% of the wine aged in new French oak barrels and it did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled in August 2015.

The Wine
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas are an intriguing blend of caramel, butterscotch, and Key Lime pie. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with expansive flavors of caramel apples and ends with a crisp,refreshing finish.

Food Pairings
This elegant, crisp Chardonnay will pair well with a wide variety of food including fish, shellfish and dishes such as clam linguini.

 

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2015 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana
Sta. Rita Hills

2015 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega (28%) Kessler-Haak (28%) Rita’s Crown (28%) Zotovich (16%)

Production: 158 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.4
pH: 3.30
Titratable acidity: 0.77g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Four to six years
Bottle price: $45

 

Inspiration
Our finest Chardonnay is named after my wife and winery partner, Diana.
I use the best grapes from each vintage to create this cuvée that epitomizes our
region’s world-class wines.
Harvest
The growing season was similar to 2014. The combination of unusually high
temperatures and small crop levels accelerated the ripening of the grapes. With
constant monitoring and quick decision making, I was able to harvest the grapes
before they became overripe. The four lots of grapes were harvested between August
12th and September 2nd with an average sugar content of 22.4 Brix.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before
being racked to barrels for fermentation. Each of the lots aged in French oak
barrels for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling in August
2016. In an effort to preserve the aromatics and flavors of the Chardonnay
grapes, only 24% of the blended wine aged in new French oak barrels.
The Wine
The wine has a pale straw gold color. The aromas are of cinnamon laced apples
with floral notes in the background. On the palate the wine is light to medium
bodied with flavors of green apples and vanilla cream. The wine’s high acidity
provides for a long, lingering and refreshing finish.
Food Pairings
This elegant and lean Chardonnay will be an excellent accompaniment to rich
seafood dishes such as lobster, herb crusted seabass and various preparations
of chicken, turkey and veal.

Inspiration
Our finest Chardonnay is named after my wife and winery partner, Diana. I use the best grapes from each vintage to create this cuvée that epitomizes our region’s world-class wines.

Harvest
The growing season was similar to 2014. The combination of unusually high temperatures and small crop levels accelerated the ripening of the grapes. With constant monitoring and quick decision making, I was able to harvest the grapes before they became overripe. The four lots of grapes were harvested between August 12th and September 2nd with an average sugar content of 22.4 Brix.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to barrels for fermentation. Each of the lots aged in French oak barrels for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling in August 2016. In an effort to preserve the aromatics and flavors of the Chardonnay grapes, only 24% of the blended wine aged in new French oak barrels.

The Wine
The wine has a pale straw gold color. The aromas are of cinnamon laced apples with floral notes in the background. On the palate the wine is light to medium bodied with flavors of green apples and vanilla cream. The wine’s high acidity provides for a long, lingering and refreshing finish.

Food Pairings
This elegant and lean Chardonnay will be an excellent accompaniment to rich seafood dishes such as lobster, herb crusted seabass and various preparations of chicken, turkey and veal.

 

Purchase Wine View WIne Notes
 

Purchase Wine

2015 Chardonnay
Fe Ciega Vineyard

2015 Chardonnay

Technical Details

Composition:
100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
Fe Ciega Vineyard

Production: 42 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13%
pH: 3.37
Titratable acidity: 0.80 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $50

 

History
In 2008, I planted less than one acre of the rare Mt. Eden clone of Chardonnay at
our estate vineyard, Fe Ciega. This release marks the third vintage of this extremely
limited production wine.
The Harvest
The growing season and harvest was very similar to that of 2014, with start dates
so early that they set records. We harvested the grapes on August 29th, with an
average sugar content of 22.4 Brix.
Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before
being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine then began its barrel
aging “sur lies.” This is a technique that involves stirring the yeast sediment twice
a month to extract a richer texture. The malo-lactic fermentation was inhibited in
order to retain all of the natural acidity. Just 9% of the wine was aged in new French
oak barrels, with the balance in older neutral barrels. After 11 months of aging the
wine was fined, filtered and bottled in August 2016.
The Wine
The wine has a pale straw gold color. The nose is classically Burgundian, with a
mixture of floral and smoky aromas. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, with
subtle flavor of pears, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. The high acidity gives the
wine a long, crisp finish that ends with a hint of toasted oak.
Food Pairings
This wine’s classic elegance partners well with foods that are traditionally served
with Champagne, such as smoked salmon with crème fraiche and caviar on
fresh blini.

History
In 2008, I planted less than one acre of the rare Mt. Eden clone of Chardonnay at our estate vineyard, Fe Ciega. This release marks the third vintage of this extremely limited production wine.

The Harvest
The growing season and harvest was very similar to that of 2014, with start dates so early that they set records. We harvested the grapes on August 29th, with an average sugar content of 22.4 Brix.

Winemaking
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine then began its barrel aging “sur lies.” This is a technique that involves stirring the yeast sediment twice a month to extract a richer texture. The malo-lactic fermentation was inhibited in order to retain all of the natural acidity. Just 9% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels, with the balance in older neutral barrels. After 11 months of aging the wine was fined, filtered and bottled in August 2016.

The Wine
The wine has a pale straw gold color. The nose is classically Burgundian, with a mixture of floral and smoky aromas. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, with subtle flavor of pears, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. The high acidity gives the wine a long, crisp finish that ends with a hint of toasted oak.

Food Pairings
This wine’s classic elegance partners well with foods that are traditionally served with Champagne, such as smoked salmon with crème fraiche and caviar on fresh blini.

Purchase Wine View WIne Notes
 

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