So, my friend Lisa Liberati sent me a few Chardonnays from a winery that she's a partner in. They're based in Buelton in Santa Barbara County, which is an incredibly beautiful place to visit. Santa Barbara County is famous for very seductive and pleasantly plump Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills, as well as excellent Syrah, Grenache and more from the Santa Ynez Valley.
Sweetzer Cellars 2014 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay ($25) Moderately deep gold color, Pretty nose of pineapple, orange, peach and fennel and lavender. Peach and apricot stone fruit notes in the mouth, it stays well-focused, dry and the alcohol level isn't jacked up. It's not a terribly showy wine, and I appreciate the subtlety. A very versatile wine to pair with food, and frankly, a terrific value. 91 Points
Sweetzer Cellars 2014 Presqu'ile Vineyard Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley ($40) This one has fairly exotic fruit aromas with notes of cantaloupe, papaya and quince, and those exotic flavors continue across the palate, but it does finish relatively simply without the addition of new oak. To the wine's credit, it doesn't seem overblown and still has decent acidity. The winemaker hasn't over-compensated for the lack of oak by over-working the battonage treatment. Only 150 cases produced. 90 Points
There was one more bottle, but it was corked and unreviewable, so I'll leave it at that.