What: Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay Washington 2012 $35
Why: Sixto is a new chardonnay-dedicated project from winemaker Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines, Charles and Charles). The winery’s name was inspired by the musician Sixto Rodriguez, profiled in the recent documentary Searching for Sugar Man. The idea for Sixto is to "resurrect something that was always great, but was waiting to be rediscovered"—Washington state chardonnay.
For the project, Smith partnered with winemakers Brennon Leighton (formerly of Efeste) and Andrew Latta and produced a series of single vineyard chardonnays from older vine, higher elevation sites across the state. The results are some of the most impressive chardonnays to be produced in Washington to date. The single-vineyard wines come at a hefty price tag of $55, making them some of the state’s most expensive white wines.
The Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay, however, retails at $35, not inexpensive but more than reasonable for a top quality chardonnay, which it is. The wine is a blend of the three single vineyard wines—Roza Hills, Frenchman Hills, and Moxee—and saw no new oak, hence the name. It’s a light golden color with notes of mineral, almond and tropical fruit along with a rich, creamy feel. It’s hard to resist now but it should only benefit from some additional time in the bottle.