100% Chardonnay. Started in 1996 by ex-surfer and rock singer Steve Clifton and ex-French professor Greg Brewer, the Brewer-Clifton winery is located in a prefab metal shed in an industrial park not far from the Lompoc prison. Mr. Brewer is a lean, hyperactive former competitive cyclist; the Laguna-bred Mr. Clifton still seems much more like a surfer than an oenologist, brawnier, and far more laid back. But both are quick to credit the unique geography of their chosen region. And indeed they do it a lot: they talk a lot about their respect for nature, the essence of their vineyards, the unique climate of the Santa Rita Hills, the high intensity, high acidity wines it engenders, and its singular suitability for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their winemaking gospel is the geographic, geologic, and climatic uniqueness of their beloved Santa Rita Hills. Their mission is to present wines that convey the characteristics inherent to each of their vineyard sites, with uncompromising quality. This is the bargain of the Chardonnay range because like the more expensive wines it also comes from Brewer Clifton’s single vineyards yet at a lower price (it is a blend from 3D, Gnesa, and Machado vineyards) with each component wine contributing its character. Scented with lime, kiwi, and orange blossom with jasmine and orange zest on the palate, a lithe acidity, and zesty texture. It’s a wine that shows why Brewer-Clifton is known for extraordinary wines with a striking fusion of savory, mineral notes, leanness, and acidity and yet at the same time phenomenal intensity and richness.