2020 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Cold, whole-cluster pressing, no settling, barrel fermentation with native yeast, and spontaneous malolactic fermentations highlight the wonderful purity inherent in our Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. This ‘hand off’ approach in the cellar allows for maximum site expression.
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
This bottling amounts to a whopping 875 cases, which means a certain set of masses can taste what this producer is all about. Aromas of tangerine sorbet and macadamia nut lead into an alkaline-driven palate of wet rocks, blanched cashew and citrus pith. — 92 points. Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast