Donnachadh Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2018
VINTAGE : 2018
COUNTRY : USA
REGION/APPELLATION : California, Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast
VARIETALS : Chardonnay
Family owned and organically farmed, Donnachadh Vineyard is located on Santa Rosa Road in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA of Santa Barbara County. The property is 285 acres with approximately 40 acres under vine. We grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and a little bit of Gamay Noir.
We strive to make wines that express the beauty of this amazing place. We are inspired by the wines of Burgundy and the Northern Rhone, but want to make wines that recognize the uniqueness of this site. The cool climate and ocean breeze allow the grapes to ripen more slowly, developing rich, complex flavors while still retaining a bright natural acidity. There is a noticeable salinity, too, that further reminds one of the maritime environment that the wines come from. Finally, the varied terrain and soils, from the steep, rocky upper hillside to the gently rolling riverside blocks allow us to develop a lot of complexity and contrast within a relatively small area.
At harvest, we try to walk the line between capturing pleasing, ripe fruit flavors and keeping in touch with the subtle flavors and aromas that really make the site unique. We want to produce wines that express the fruit, the sun, the soil and, overall, have a feeling of depth, transparency, and inner calm. We want to make wines that will pair well with a meal, but that will also stand up to closer scrutiny -- that can be rewarding on their own.
Our 2018 Donnachadh Estate Chardonnay benefited from the great weather we had during the growing season and harvest. The core of the Estate Chardonnay comes from the highest block in our 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. Wente clone and clone 76 grapes from our riverside blocks round out the wine.
Mineral driven, delicate and crystalline. 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 we see 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.