Follow the Buyer! William Leonard-Lee
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William's Bio

Buyer of: California Chardonnay

For twenty years, William has played a role in the food and wine industry. A Boston native with extensive experience in fine dining, he came to New York with his chef/wife Lisa in 2004 eager to explore the offerings of New York City and its world-class culinary pedigree. Since then, he immersed himself in Italian wines, running Vino Italian Wine and Spirits, one of the city’s most respected boutique wine shops and became the Wine and Beverage Director of iTrulli Restaurant. With an Advanced Certificate (WSET) from the International Wine Center, William continues to constantly explore the marriage of wine and food with his wife as they travel and entertain friends and family, and participate in the occasional underground supper-club.

“I am thrilled to be participating in the wide world of wine at a time when the amount of quality choice all around is truly unprecedented. I love a wine most when it reflects a sense of place. I am excited to see the widening trend towards making sustainable, organic and biodynamic product, though ultimately I don’t believe it to be the only prerequisite for making a ‘good’ wine.”

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William's Wine Selection - Babcock Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2012


Ramp up Springtime with Babcock Chardonnay, a delightful California Chardonnay with a touch of Burgundy.

The Story Why I Bought This Food Pairings

Babcock winery was founded in 1978 in California’s western Santa Ynez Valley by then restaurant owners Walt and Mona Babcock. After deciding to leave graduate school behind, their son Bryan jumped aboard the project and has since received several awards for his winemaking, including being named one of the “Top Ten Small Production Winemakers in the World” in 1995 by the James Beard Foundation. Today, Babcock produces 10,000 cases of Estate wines mixed with select vineyard holdings. The 2012 Chardonnay is just that, with a percentage of the wine coming from their esteemed Top Cream vineyard as well as other leading grape providers.

This is great small production Chardonnay that in my opinion does not cut any corners, especially coming from an entry-level spot in the winery’s repertoire. A blend of Chardonnay from their own Top Cream vineyard with Dierberg and Los Alamos selections, the 2012 Santa Barbara unfolds with ripe fruit and a creamy mid-palate: lemon curd and cooked apple with soft yeast elements reminiscent of a Burgundian approach. The finish is clean and crisp, which allows for a wide range of food pairings.

Seasonally speaking, not much gets me more “ramped” up than the onset of ramp season. These tasty wild spring onions do wonders for so many dishes and really set the tone for springtime in earnest. But buy them now—they’ll only be at farmer’s markets for a few weeks. I enjoyed the Babcock Chardonnay just the other night with seared soft shell crab and ditalini pasta (a short tube pasta) cooked in a sauce of pureed ramps and parsley with smoked bacon. The fresh herbaceous character of the sauce highlighted the lees from the wine and the addition of a little bacon really played up the wine’s body. It was delightful.

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Reg. $19.99
On Sale $22.99

The Wagner family believes that the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation in Monterey County is the best appellation in the world for producing Chardonnay. This region benefits from cool morning fog and afternoon breezes that result in a long growing ... more
Sku: 022944


Reg. $21.99

This is great small production Chardonnay that in my opinion does not cut any corners, especially coThis is great small production Chardonnay that in my opinion does not cut any corners, especially coming from an entry-level spot in the winery’s ... more
Sku: P58545


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