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91 points, Wine Advocate - The 2016 Chardonnay Jackson Estate Santa Maria Valley opens with compelling apricot, pink grapefruit and guava notes with hints of ginger, lemon peel and brioche. Medium-bodied, the palate features juicy tropical and stone fruit flavors with just enough toastiness, finishing with a zesty lift.
Established in 1981, the Santa Maria Valley AVA is nestled along the California Coast in a rare east-west mountain range, unlike the more common north-south valleys. This creates a giant funnel from the Pacific, ushering a cooling marine influence into the region on an almost daily basis.
The chilly climate and very long growing season allows the grapes to retain a high natural acidity, while the narrow diurnal temperatures of the growing season results in extraordinarily flavorful grapes. Rich and creamy with golden mango, pineapple, yellow peach, and honeysuckle flower flavors, plus a hint of tangerine. Oak barrel aging adds notes of buttered biscuits and vanilla bean to the palate and long, lingering finish.