We are always on the lookout for new, up and coming wineries. Today we introduce you to Donnachadh Vineyard (DON nuh kuh). The vineyard is family owned and organically farmed in the beautiful Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. A prime territory for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and cool climate Syrah. It's the culmination of a dream that inspired owners Laurie and Drew Duncan to set out and make wines of Burgundy and the Northern Rhone. In case you were wondering how they came up with the name, it's the Gallic form of their last name Duncan.
2018 Donnachadh Estate Chardonnay benefited from the great weather they had during the growing season and harvest. The core of the Estate Chardonnay comes from the highest block in the vineyard, Block 1. This block has shallow, rocky soil and is exposed to powerful ocean winds, yielding grapes that are slow to ripen, concentrated and focused. The acid and minerality from this block provide the backbone of the wine. Lemon zest, brioche, and struck flint on the nose. Mouthwatering acidity with oyster-shell minerality on the palate of Meyer lemon and pear with a drop of candied lemon and sea salt on the finish. The Estate Chardonnay really captures in the glass the tension between cool air and warm sun. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in barrel, with 20% new oak, and bottled after 11 months in barrel on the lees.
The 2018 Donnachadh Estate Pinot Noir is a wine of great complexity, and finesse. Compared to the ’17, the 2018 Estate Pinot Noir is more concentrated and displays darker fruit but retains balance and elegance. This was a very good year and the best Pinot they have made so far. Aromas of wild sage, strawberry and cherry, violets, forest floor and pitch. In the mouth, a wave of tart red cherries, black raspberries, and plum. 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels with about 15% whole cluster.
The 2018 Donnachadh Estate Syrah enjoyed a long, gentle growing season. This year they used Alban clone Syrah from the riverside blocks and clone 470 from high up on the hillside. This Syrah is aromatic, dark, and concentrated, showing classic aromas of pepper, iron, and cherries with dark fruit on the palate -- tart black cherry, red raspberry, and blackberry. Juicy acidity and a bit of grip. A great match for a meal with bold flavors, especially grilled or roasted meats and vegetables. Bottled after 16 months in neutral oak barrels.