2020 Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills 750ML
The 2020 Chardonnay was crafted from grapes from Rita’s Crown (Clones 76 & 95) (85%) and Duvarita (Clones 548 and 76) ( 15%). The wine marries the taut tropical fruit and chalky minerals from Rita’s with the open knit, fresh fruit, and rocks from the sandy Duvarita.
2020 was aiming to be a classic cool climate year, until a series of punishing heat waves hit beginning in mid August. Fortunately, each heat wave was interspersed with cool periods which allowed the vines to reset. We picked the Chardonnay in between the heat waves, beginning in mid to late September under ideal (cool, foggy) conditions. The wine was fermented and aged on its lees in French oak barriques (5% new), with partial malolactic fermentation occurring spontaneously in barrel. The resulting wine is aged for 16 months on its lees without stirring, before selection, blending and bottling. This is a decidedly cooler climate Chardonnay, with terrific acids and minerality which lifts the ripe tropical fruit flavors, giving a very long finish. We love the complexity and energy of this wine.