2020 Chardonnay, Rita's Crown 750ML
Rita’s Crown sits majestically above the famous Mt. Carmel monastery at some of the highest elevations in the Sta. Rita Hills (up to 850 feet / 260 metres in our blocks). We source fruit from steep, south and southwest facing blocks of sand and clay loam with abundant diatomaceous earth. Daily winds and fog deliver a strong marine influence resulting in an interesting saline note in the wines, along with the chalky minerals from the soils. Ripeness is delivered through the long season, not high temperatures.
The Chardonnay in these blocks typically produce relatively low yields from a small canopy. In 2020 yield (Block 16) was 3.35 tpa (this is the equivalent yield from one famous grower in Batard Montrachet). These lower yields and a long cool season result in ripeness at incredibly strong acid levels (in 2020 final, post ML pH was 3.27). We think this is a hallmark of great sites.
The 2020 wine fermented in French oak barrels, 44% new. The resulting wine went through native malolactic fermentation in barrel and was aged for 18 months on its lees, without stirring, before selection, blending and bottling.
Not yet rated, the 2019 was 96+ points Wine Advocate and 95 points Jeb Dunnuck (he called it “head turning”).
Extremely Limited: Only 235 Cases Produced.