Santa Barbara County is home to some of the most exciting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California. Much of that success is thanks to a geological oddity: Coastal valleys that run west to east (as opposed to north to south), and serve as superhighways for chilly ocean air. Combine that with a wonderfully varied terrain, complex terroirs, you have perfect conditions for world-class cool climate wines like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Part of the prestigious Jackson Family Wines, Nielson takes its name from founder Uriel J. Nielson, who planted Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard in 1964. Their wines are an exceptional introduction to the region and represent tremendous values.
Nielson Santa Bárbara County Chardonnay 2021 ($29.95; Vintages No. 32822) is partially barrel fermented with aromas of citrus flower, clean linen, and a burst of pineapple. It has a pleasant weight on the palate with honey and citrus notes and a light salinity.
This wine comes from two growing regions within Santa Barbara County, both of which are influenced by unique soil types and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Santa Maria Valley is one of California’s coolest AVAs with well-drained soils and one of the longest growing seasons in the world. When picked at earlier stages of ripeness, Chardonnay from the Santa Maria Valley shows more citrus notes, and as the fruit ripens on the vine, it becomes increasingly tropical in expression. Just south of Santa Maria Valley and Los Alamos, the Sta. Rita Hills AVA is characterized by steep vineyard slopes, a distinct saline minerality, bright citrus notes, and the signature Santa Barbara County ocean influence.
Few wines scream ‘drink me!’ like Californian Pinot Noir — huge, up-front fruits of black cherry, strawberry and raspberry wash over the lush, succulent palate. Officially the Santa Barbara appellation, Nielson pulls fruit for this bottling from Santa Maria Valley, Los Alamos, and Santa Rita Hills. Their respective zones contribute aromatics, weight and power, harmonizing to create a wine of great substance.
Nielson Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2021 is available directly from us by the 12-bottle case.
$39.99 per bottle