2018 Chardonnay, Black Label
This wine was bound to happen. With sites like Rita’s Crown, Bentrock and Radian, it was only a matter of time until we would be forced to craft a best of the best like the MJM and Black Label Pinot Noir. And here, Sta Rita Hills really shows off its cool climate origins; the wine is simply packed with flavor that is held tightly together by stunning acidity and minerals, giving an extraordinary finish.
In 2018, the wine was comprised of Bentrock (40%), Radian (30%) and Rita’s Crown (30%). Grapes were harvested in the early morning hours with field sorting before being whole cluster pressed to tank for cool settling overnight. The juice was transferred to a mix of French oak barrels (barriques and a 350L barrel, 70% new) for fermentation with native yeasts. At dryness, the barrels were topped up and wine was allowed to go through spontaneous malolactic fermentation, which finished in March. The wine aged on its lees without racking for 18 months before bottling. These barrels were selected for this wine after approximately a year of elevage. It is our first ever Black Label Chardonnay and we are thrilled with this uniquely powerful, but beautiful wine.
Jeb Dunnuck’s 96-point review said it well;
“Lastly, the 2018 Chardonnay Black Label is a selection from the Bentrock, Radian, and Rita's Crown vineyards that was aged 18 months on lees in 70% new French oak. Notes of ripe nectarines, Meyer lemons, brioche, white flowers, and honeyed minerality all emerge from the glass, followed by a medium to full-bodied and flawlessly balanced beauty with a stacked mid-palate and a monster of a finish. Beautifully done, it's going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for a solid decade or more.”
Extremely Limited. Only 50 cases produced. A very special wine.