2016 The Drawing Board Estate Chardonnay
Production: 200 cases 12.8% alc. AVA: Sta. Rita Hills
Harvested: 9/12/16 Farming ~ Organic
The Vintage: 2016 welcomed the end of the 3-year drought with some ground soaking precipitation. The wet winter was followed by intermittent rains during a mild spring. There was some extreme heat in the region during late September, but our fruit was picked by then and our vineyard was not affected. The vines welcomed the drought-relief by producing a good quality bloom and fruit set, followed by a long growing season and a healthy harvest. The 2016 berries were plump and juicy. Still, the yields in 2016 were slightly below average throughout the region. The long, cool growing season produced a complexity in the juice that is compelling. The climate and rugged topography of our site conveys all the attributes so special and unique to this place; power, elegance and density balanced with minerality and brightness, all framed with a strong sense of the nearby ocean.
The site: The cool climate on the banks of the Santa Ynez River gets a generous blanket of fog each night, which allows the grapes to ripen slowly, keeping a nice acidity to balance the wine. The vines struggle to push through rocky, silty soil, so there is the signature minerality, which is balanced and layered with floral, honey and stone fruit notes.
Winemaking: The grapes were harvested in the wee morning hours, hand sorted and pressed whole cluster to a stainless steel tank where the juice settled for 24 hours. The juice was then racked to barrel where it fermented and rested on the lees for 12 months in mostly neutral French barrels and went through full malo. It was then racked to stainless steel tank for an additional 6 months prior to bottling in February 2018. There was no acidification or chaptalization.
Tasting Notes: Coming from multiple blocks planted on Sorrento loam soils with varying degrees of shale, river cobble, silty clay and limestone, the 2016 Chardonnay is a really fine example of all that the Santa Rita Hills can offer. The 2016 vintage has strong structure with a distinct brightness and smooth texture on the palate, while still maintaining its energy, tension, focus with just a hint of salinity from the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Questions? Send us an email