2021 Chardonnay, Black Label 750ML
This wine is a reserve-level blend of our favorite barrels from the vintage. The 2021 Black Label is crafted from three of the most extreme, wind-battered, sites in Sta Rita Hills (if not anywhere): rocky, windswept Bentrock (50%), steep, diatomaceous Rita’s Crown (33%) and the salty, marine and gale-force-wind-influenced Radian (17%). These difficult sites produce small clusters of thick skinned, tiny berry Chardonnay that has massive concentration, but also very high acids and a resounding mineral streak. The 2021 wine was fermented and aged on its lees in French oak barriques (67% new) with malolactic fermentation occurring spontaneously in barrel, and a finished pH of 3.29, with a TA of 6.5 g/L. These barrels have been a joy to taste since they completed ML (native). The resulting wine is aged for 18 months on its lees without stirring, before selection, blending and bottling.
This dramatic wine displays deep, concentrated aromas and flavors of fruit, minerals, spices and flowers, which are rich and incredibly present on the tongue in a medium to full bodied frame. The wine’s spectacular structure then takes over, with ripe, citrus and mineral acidity and the corseting effect of beautifully integrated, lightly toasted new oak. The wine has a terrific, complex finish that lasts for minutes and portends a fantastic future.