2013RoarChardSMV2013 Roar, Chardonnay, Sierra Mar Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The Sierra Mar Vineyard, part of the Franscioni estate along with Rosella’s Vineyard, and farmed in partnership with Gary Pisoni and family, is Gary Franscioni’s newest and most scenic vineyard set back in the Santa Lucia Highlands looking down on Garys’ Vineyard and with higher elevation. This site is just coming into it’s own and these 2013 vintage wines are really some of the best, most complex and most balanced offerings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Roar label, though I have long thought the Syrah’s were some of the best in the region. Recent changes in winemaking and with the vines getting some age have paid off here, especially charming in the set of 2013 wines, is the fantastic Sierra Mar Chardonnay which is now on par with the Rosella’s with wonderful vivid layers, bright fruit, mineral essence and textural magic with rich mouth feel, but not heavy, this is superb stuff and well worth searching out. The 2013 Sierra Mar starts with fresh citrus blossoms and fruit, wild heather, a touch of matchstick and wet stones leading to a vibrant palate of lemon, pineapple, green apple and spiced pear fruits along with chalk, saline, soft wood notes, a touch of cream and light fig and hint of smoke. The overall effect is one of poise and elegance, though very much in keeping with the region’s terroir, this a very good Santa Lucia Highlands Chard, well made, pleasing and focused, I admire the energy and harmony in this vintage, drink from 2015 to 2020. Roar looks headed in the right direction and have a some talented hands in the cellar with Scott Shapley putting his touch on the current set of wines, following in the big shoes left by Ed Kutzman and Siduri’s Adam Lee, and so far it seems he’s done a great job and is refining the estate style. I really look forward to see the fall release of Syrah, which have grown to be my favorite in the Roar lineup, but besides this really entertaining Chardonnay, the Roar Garys’ Pinot, the SLH Pinot and the Sierra Mar Pinot are all top notch too.
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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