More mineral-driven, with ample citrus blossom, crushed rock, pear and hints of honeysuckle, the 2013 Chardonnay Machado is medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, focused and pure. Like the other Chardonnays here, it was whole-cluster pressed and raised all in neutral oak. With its vibrant, lively style, it will appeal more to the Chablis lovers than the Acin or Hapgood, and will have a decade of overall longevity.
Another one of the shake-ups in Santa Barbara County in 2015, Brewer Clifton (founded in 1996 by Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton) brought on investor Ken Frederickon, who’s a master sommelier and wholesaler, with the goal to expand their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir programs. I’m not sure exactly what this new partnership will entail, but the winemaking remains firmly in the hands of Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton. Looking at these latest releases, the 2013s are a significant change in style from the 2012s and are much more exuberant, decadent and ripe, with almost overflowing characters. These are not lightweight Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. I was blown away by their texture and depth.