Rita’s Crown is a spectacular vineyard at some of the highest elevations in the Santa Rita Hills. Located right above the historic Mount Carmel monastery, our south west facing blocks are steep and cobbled with large amounts of diatomaceous earth. The winds are constant and strong, with a feeling of saltiness from the nearby ocean and a decided marine chill. The Chardonnay in this block typically sets 2-2.5 tons per acre from a relatively small canopy. These low yields and long cool season results in ripeness at incredibly strong acid levels. We think this is a hallmark of great sites. The wines are dramatic and expressive, with a tremendously long finish.
The 2017 wine fermented separately in French oak barrels, 20% new. The resulting wine went through partial malolactic fermentation in barrel and was then aged for 17 months on its lees, without stirring, before selection, blending and bottling.
Jeb Dunnuck gushed over this wine giving it 95 points and stating:
“With beautiful overall balance, nicely integrated acidity, hints of salinity, and a great finish, it’s another brilliant effort, but there are only 200 cases produced.”