2015 Pinot Noir, Radian Vineyard
Radian is one of the most dramatic, remote and extreme sites in Santa Barbara County. It is located at the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, high atop the sparse, chaparral and poison oak studded Santa Rosa Hills, and it literally wraps itself around crevasses and steep cliffs, its tiny roads literally clinging to hillsides in some spots. From here one has a direct sightline to the huge expanse of the mighty Pacific Ocean, whose influence completely dominates the site, from the cold powerful winds, to the high proportion of prehistoric algae skeletons (the silica based diatomaceous earth) comprising the soils. The forces that have pushed up the ocean floor are still present here, with man recognizing he is indeed a very small player in the drama. This vineyard actually seems to rest, somewhat precariously, upon this remarkably hardscrabble land. We were drawn to this vineyard at its inception, and we chose the most extreme blocks, slowly adding to our holdings over the years. Today we have a stable of blocks at numerous locations and aspects and thus a fairly complete representation of the entire vineyard. Only a tiny crop of small clusters ripen in these very cool, windy conditions. The resulting wines are intense, with a fascinating mineral streak and a remarkable depth of flavor even at lower alcohol levels. 2015 was an excellent vintage at Radian, perhaps the most concentrated ever, and the wines will absolutely repay aging. The wine was aged on its lees for 15 months in French oak barrels (18% new). The wine has great volume and depth and is, at this point, only hinting at its usual kaleidoscopic aromatics, which are certain to arrive with time. The 2015 succeeds, and in many ways, improves upon, the 2014 Radian, which was given a tremendous review (and 94 points) by both Antonio Galloni and Jeb Dunnuck (formerly of the Wine Advocate). Very Limited. Only 400 cases produced.