Donnachadh Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2018
VINTAGE : 2018
COUNTRY : USA
REGION/APPELLATION : California, Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast
VARIETALS : Pinot Noir
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.
The 2018 Donnachadh Estate Pinot Noir is a wine of great complexity, concentration and finesse.
With the addition of a couple of Dijon clones to the mix, we give up the Heritage Vines designation for 2018 and moved to Estate. In terms of clones and blocks, we carried over the Swan, Calera and Pommard clones that we used in 2017, but added some clone 115 and clone 667 from the hillside blocks. 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 we 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 with sarsaparilla and Earl Grey on the lengthy finish. 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels with about 15% whole cluster.