Rick Longoria's top Chardonnay named after his wife.
The harvest of 2013 began earlier than normal due to warm weather in late August. The grapes from the three component vineyards were harvested from September 3rd through September 9th. Grapes come from Rita’s Crown (51%) situated at the top of the AVA, and Fe Ciega (24%) in the mid-elevation range both places benfiting from a southern exposure. The final grapes from from the Rancho Santa Rosa (25%).
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. The three wines aged sur lie for ten months before being blended and prepared for bottling. Only 14% of the wine aged in new French oak barrels in an effort to let the varietal character take center stage without the intrusion of new oak flavors and aromas.
The wine displays a medium gold color with aromas of apples, pears, cinnamon and nutmeg. On the palate the wine is rich and moderately viscous with flavors of apples and crème brûlée in the finish. The wine’s excellent acidity provides a long, lingering and refreshing finish.
Wine Enthusiast: 92 points Vinous: 91 Points Robert Parker: 90 points
Longoria Wines is an artisanal family winery established in 1982 by Rick and Diana Longoria. Rick’s decision to start his own wine label was born out of a desire to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two varietals he was not producing as the winemaker for J. Carey Cellars, his first job as a winemaker. Rick sensed that those two varietals were poised to become the signature varietals for the new Santa Barbara County wine region, and he wanted to become a part of this new movement.
By 1982 he felt confident in his skills and in the quality of some of the County’s best vineyards to venture into the wine business for himself, and with financial help from his father he produced 500 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley vineyards.
Rick continued to produce very small quantities of Longoria wines after he became the winemaker for The Gainey Vineyard in 1985.
In 1997, Rick gave up steady employment to devote his full energies to his winery business. In May 1998, Rick and Diana opened the doors to their own tasting room in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Los Olivos. In December 1998, Rick moved his winery operation into a 5,400 sq. foot industrial building in what is now affectionately called the “Lompoc Wine Ghetto”. His was the first winery to be established in Lompoc. In 2014, Rick moved into a brand new winery on the site of Lompoc's historic JM Club, with the Longoria Winery Tasting Room located in the former club house.
Rick states "From the very beginning of my career I felt that the Santa Barbara wine region had the potential to produce world class wines and it's been very gratifying to see that belief realized over the more than 30 years I've been here. It's also been very rewarding to have had the good fortune over the years to have some of my wines contribute to the acclaim of our wine region."
Over the years Rick has experimented with many different vineyard sources and grape varietals and has added more wines to his portfolio. Rick’s pursuit of excellence requires the production of his wines to remain small even after more than 30 years in business. Longoria wines are handcrafted in very small quantities ranging from 50 to 700 cases. Total annual production currently averages 3,000 cases.
|Appellation||Sta. Rita Hills|
|Case Size||12 blts/case|