As we have discussed before, Radian is one of the most magical places in which grapes are grown in all of Santa Barbara. The vineyard is otherworldly, at once steep and foreboding, but also wildly dramatic and beautiful, with forever views of the ocean in one direction, and the majority of the Santa Rosa Road corridor in the other. Soils include clay and sandy and loam, banded chert, with localized, sometimes very thick deposits of diatomaceous earth and are very poor, allowing only meager vegetative growth. Moreover, the fierce winds up in the upper blocks we farm (600-800+ feet above sea level) also reduce set and limit yields. Indeed, these vines in 2019 produced an average of around 2 tons per acre of tiny clusters with thick skins and little juice (see the pictures above). The grapes were mostly destemmed and then fermented on native yeasts, and the wine then aged on its lees for 18 months in French oak cooperage (35% new) before bottling without filtration.
The 2019 Radian Pinot Noir is deep and complex as usual, with a dark red fruit profile (some black cherries and red plums, with raspberry liqueur, pomegranate) with leafy rhubarb and forest floor notes, a streak of granite and minerals, and a good solid backbone of herb-edged, but round tannins. The wine has the loveliest velvety texture, with no hard edges, and yet it finishes with great energy as citrus-laced acids refresh the palate and demand another sip. The 2019 is a little more brash and effusive than the billowy 2018, but fresher and juicier than the more muscular and reserved 2017. We think it might be one of the best ever from this remarkable site.
Extremely Limited. This wine was made in tiny quantities (400 cases), most of which will go to the Wine Club in October. We will have a small portion available for sale now. We suggest you get yours very soon or risk missing out!