2014 Gainey "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay (Elsewhere $22) SKU #1303139

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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

As one of the pioneer's of winemaking in the Santa Ynez Valley the Gainey's have made many great wines over the last 4 decades. The problem is that they are still a little known name in the wine conversation and that is a shame because they have made a ton of great wines over the years and were practicing sustainability and organic farming way before those things became buzz words in the business. Owning over 1500 acres in the area they have numerous, non-contiguous, estate vineyards and also farm fruit, vegetables, cattle, horses and hay. We think this true farming operation will certainly grab your attention with their current releases which not only are truly delicious but are a tremendous value as well. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

Staff Reviews

  • Jim Barr
    By: Jim Barr
    K&L Staff Member
    I believe one of the very few aspects of this wine business that still captivates me is that there are a handful of domestic producers that make exceptional wine each year, but, for whatever reason, never seem to promote themselves via the national/international wine critics who give high ratings and rankings. You see this with Navarro Vineyards in the Anderson Valley, Dehlinger in the Russian River Valley, Fort Ross in the Sonoma Coast region, and Gainey Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills area of the Central Coast. The Gaineys have been making excellent varietals, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, for over forty years and yet very little press is released about their wines. This lovely Chardonnay is an excellent example of what I am asserting here. Distinctive aromas of cinnamon apple to tropical fruit abound in the nose that is underscored by a pronounced vanillan, creamy note. Rich in the mouth, yet not overdone, this Gem is well-structured, lush, yet balanced and offers a pure Central Coast spiced Chardonnay presentation. The Bean has demanded that I bring home at least a case of this Chardonnay Gem for our enjoyment over the next several years. A FANTASTIC VALUE!!! ***** 13.9% ABV *****
    Drink from 2016 to 2020
  • Stephanie Vidales
    By: Stephanie Vidales
    K&L Staff Member
    Gainey is a family owned and run winery that had their first vines planted back in 1984. This wine is 100% Chardonnay with all estate fruit - 61% from Gainey's Rancho Esperanza and 39% from Gainey's Evan's Ranch. What I love most about this Chardonnay is its combination of bright acidity and roundness on the palate without being overly rich. Stone fruits and citrus flavors dominate with subtle oak character and a clean refreshing finish. It's price point is also a huge bonus!
  • Bryan Brick
    By: Bryan Brick
    K&L Staff Member
    The 2014 Gainey Santa Rta. Hills Chardonnay may be the perfect summer bottle. Brisk, refreshing and thirst quenching this wine is shockingly good for its price tag. Whether you are BBQ’ing, poolside or just relaxing wherever you like to chill out this Chard will be friendly and help you get to where you want to be. Aromas of nectarine and apricot add richness to the lively nose that also shows notes of citrus and subtle oak. Picking up some pectic weight on entry this rolls along with fleshy fruit flavors dominating the intense, rounded palate. Think grilled peaches, kumquat, Bosq pear flesh and a hint of bergamot backed by a complex interwoven green tea and earthen spice. This is a fastball right down the middle of the Chardonnay plate, crushable!
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    Aromatic nose consisting of bright citrus, ripe orchard fruit, and upfront oak notes (baking spices especially). White peach, lemon & lime, golden apple, and crisp minerality dominate on the palate. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, but noted with an elevated acidity that leaves a refreshing finish on the palate. Drink over the next 2-3 years. One of our best values in domestic chardonnay for under $20!
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    Outstanding value California Chard for 17.99! Bright fruited and acidic, this bottling also delivers on well-integrated oak to satisfy the craving. Multi-dimensional and fun, this is a great quality wine for the budget.
  • Mari Keilman
    By: Mari Keilman
    K&L Staff Member
    I often find in that budget-friendly, $20-and-under price range for a Cali Chardonnay, you either get a monstrous oak bomb full of wood chips that leave splinters in your mouth or you end up drinking a super steely, metallic acid bomb that strips the enamel off your teeth. That is why I love this Gainey Chardonnay. It is surprisingly refreshing and clean for a medium-to-full-bodied Chardonnay. It also has an elegant and integrated toasted, creme brulée oakiness that nicely balances the lifted white peach, ripe apple and soft Meyer lemon flavors on the palate.
  • Christina Stanley
    By: Christina Stanley
    K&L Staff Member
    The Gainey Estate vineyards are located just ten miles East of the Pacific Ocean, and this Chardonnay is a blend of two of those vineyards: Rancho Esperanza and Evan's Ranch. These two vineyards produce fruit of differing characteristics, and the result is a harmonious combination of fruit, acid and minerality. Notes of bright ripe pineapple, meyer lemon and white peach dance on the medium bodied palate, and a trail of saline minerality creates a lasting finish.
  • Anthony Gittings
    By: Anthony Gittings
    K&L Staff Member
    After recently trying this at a staff tasting, I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this outstanding Chardonnay. On the nose, rich vanilla bean and freshly cut lumber first welcome you. The palate is full of asian pear, light lemon, and fresh acid. A lighter bodied Chardonnay that has some nice minerality and a long beautiful finish. This is a lot of wine for less than twenty dollars, incredible value!


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