2020 Damiana Vineyard Chardonnay
Damiana Vineyard Chardonnay reveals minerality, tart citrus and tropical fruit characteristics, and has vibrant acidity and terrific balance.
Damiana Vineyard is our oldest vineyard, planted in 1978, often producing dense and opulent Chardonnay. Its exposure is primarily southwestern, leading to more sun during the growing season, though this site is heavily influenced by maritime breeze most afternoons. Shallow topsoil of fractured Lambert Shale and mudstone limit vigor and lead to wines with great concentration and intensity. This vineyard is typically the first to be harvested of our estate Chardonnay.
A mostly mild but dry season was permeated by dry lightning and wind. On August 16th, the CZU fire burned within 10 miles of the winery. Smoke originally blew towards the coast but changed direction after the first week of the fire, enveloping the vineyards and affecting the character of the fruit. We made the gut-wrenching decision that no red wine was to be bottled from the vintage. The compounds contained within the skins were displaying very characteristic smoky flavors and texture. We concluded that if we were careful in pressing (using lower pressure in the press and pressing the grapes immediately) we could make white wines that escaped the smokey characteristics found in the reds. While our losses in the vineyard pale in comparison to the loss of home and life from the fire, it was a heartbreaking year, nonetheless.
Santa Cruz Mountains
From vines planted at 1,900 feet in 1978, this dynamic bottling begins with aromas of blanched almond, lemon glaze, crushed chalk and a hint of warm toast on the nose. There's a comforting, delicate hint of buttercream on the palate, where Meyer lemon juice and apple slice flavors align into a cohesive sip. — 94 points. Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast