WHY: The Sandhi wines are not only some of the purest and most delicious expressions of chardonnay and pinot noir from California's Central Coast, they are incredible values given that all the fruit is farmed organically, and the wines are made with as little manipulation as possible—no sulfur, no temperature control, no inoculation. The 2019 Central Coast Chardonnay is a refreshing, balanced, cool climate white, fermented in barrel with no inoculation, with plenty of fruit and richness, bolstered by vibrant acidity.
HOW: The fruit for this bottling comes from sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez appellations. The average age of most of the vines is over 30 years old from specific parcels of Wente selection that Sandhi is lucky to have access to. The wine is a great introduction to the Sandhi style with pretty aromas of citrus flowers and fruit notes of limes and lemons along with toasty notes from oak. On the palate it will have good structure and plenty of restraint and balance making it a very food-friendly and approachable wine. The Central Coast Chardonnay started when Sandhi founder Raj Parr was trying to find a cool climate, by-the-glass Chardonnay for RN74, but couldn't find a wine that offered the right flavor for less than $30 a bottle.
WHAT: Sandhi is the joint venture between Michael Mina wine director Raj Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman, who made wine at Ojai and Stolpman and now runs Piedrasassi. The collaboration started when Raj was looking for a by-the-glass Chardonnay at his RN74 restaurant and worked directly with Sashi to create the exact wine he was looking for. In 2007, Raj and Sashi purchased a vineyard site in the Santa Rita Hills and planted it with pinot noir cuttings from the Swan, Calera, and Mount Eden vineyards. They named it Domaine de la Côte and today the wines from the estate are some of the most coveted in the industry. In 2010, they founded Sandhi.