2020 Spring Release
|New Release: 2019 Rosé and Friends, $1 Shipping Offer|
Greetings from the beautiful, green, windy, rainy Santa Ynez Valley.
Our hearts go out to all of you as we all try to negotiate these challenging times.
Sometimes we feel the only thing we can do is offer you a break from the news, a beautiful thought, a short trip out into paradise, if even for a moment. We will look forward to welcoming you here when the crisis has passed.
In the meantime, here we are, and it is Spring in Santa Barbara wine country. The vineyards are the same as every spring; cover crops in bloom, budbreak commencing soon, crews still out working the vines (agriculture is a critical industry, and the vines cannot wait to be tended). We are reminded that time marches on, and there is always a new season and new challenges, but also new possibilities. We are hopeful that this current situation will resolve sooner than later, and we can all get back to doing what we did only a few short weeks ago.
Fortunately, the winemaker’s life cannot be completely interrupted. The vines continue to grow, the wines evolve in the cellar and when it is time, they must be bottled. That is what we have been up to the last several weeks (keeping our entire team busy and employed!) Some of the wines are now ready to be released to you today.
First the new Rosé! The 2019 seems a particularly exuberant version of Rosé; one that is cheerful and a perfect antidote to the current news. Pair with almost anything (Mitchi’s modified New York Times Albondigas soup, Brandon’s grilled cheese sandwiches, John’s seafood paella, a good bouillabaisse) and watch your spirits lift.
Second, two fantastic new single vineyard Sauvignon Blancs from Grassini and Grimm’s Bluff. Handcrafted, small production, mostly barrel fermented and aged, these wines are standard bearers for what Sauvignon Blanc can be if treated like the noble grape it is. Intensity, depth, exuberant fruit, but structured and very much ageworthy. Our nod to the great whites of Bordeaux.
Finally, the 2018 Pinot Noir, from the biodynamically farmed Duvarita Vineyard. Beautiful aromatics, elegantly textured, long and intriguing, this wine is always a fan favorite and with its tiny production, sells out quickly.
Wines are available for pick up (only) at the Los Olivos Tasting Room by appointment, or for shipping. Special shipping rates apply during the coronavirus lockdown: $1 for 3 bottles or more anywhere in the U.S.A. (that allows direct shipping). Use offer code 1SHIPPING on checkout.
We hope that each of you stays healthy and positive, and that we are soon back to enjoying our lives and appreciating our freedoms.
New Release Wines
2019 Rosé, Happy Canyon
2018 Sauvignon Blanc Grassini Vineyard
2018 Sauvignon Blanc Grimm’s Bluff Vineyard
2018 Pinot Noir Duvarita Vineyard
2019 Rosé, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Here it is! The 2019 Rosé is the product of another exceptional vintage. We enjoyed an extremely rainy winter in 2019, which set the stage for a great year. The weather was actually quite cool during spring which led to an extended flowering period. Early Summer was likewise cool, but in late July the weather turned to sustained heat, with consistent highs in the 90’s in Happy Canyon. Luckily, we avoided substantial (100 degrees +) heat spikes. The consistent heat allowed the vines to catch up for their slow ripening, though we were required to drop a significant portion of green clusters a month before harvest. Ultimately, we were very happy with the crop harvested, as it showed very good flavor development at reasonable sugar levels. This wine is a blend of Grenache from Vogelzang vineyard and another mystery vineyard of great promise of which we are sworn to secrecy.
The 2019 smelled absolutely incredible from tank at bottling, and it promises to be a delightful, ebullient, and truly happy wine. Good aromas, perfectly balanced red and citrus fruits and watermelon, with lip smacking acidity; this wine just makes you smile. The perfect wine for spring and summer! Only 600 cases produced; everyone deserves a case of this.PURCHASE
2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Grassini Family Vineyard
Grassini is a stalwart in our portfolio and one of the true stars of Happy Canyon. We have made wine here since 2008, and the vineyard always delivers. We have three blocks in which we employ special pruning, canopy management (dappled light leafing on the afternoon side of the rows) and crop load strategies, and we limit irrigation to keep plant balance at lower yields. We harvest, press and ferment each block (or portion of a block) separately in a mixture of French oak barrels stainless steel. The result is highly complex, expressive wine that simply screams Grassini.
The 2018 wine was crafted from our favorite French oak barrels (88%) and stainless steel. (12%). 20% of the barrels were new. The wine was aged on its lees for 15 months before bottling. The wine shows its usual kaleidoscopic aromas and flavors, with nice lift from vibrant acidity. The 2018 follows admirably, the 2017 version of this wine, which received a whopping 96 points from Jeb Dunnuck, who wrote:
“Ripe, rounded, and brilliantly textured, with a rocking ﬁnish, it’s up with some of the ﬁnest Sauvignon Blancs coming from California today. I’d happily include this in a blind tasting with a great vintage of Haut Brion Blanc.” (JebDunnuck.com 10/31/19)
We think the 2018 is right there, perhaps even a little more open knit and accessible early, but with a long life ahead. The acidity on all the Sauvignons this year were insanely good.
This is a Fall 2020 Wine Club Wine, and so remaining allocations are infinitesimal. Act fast.
2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Grimm’s Bluff Vineyard
We continue to be smitten with the unique and powerful fruit from Grimm’s Bluff. Painstakingly and biodynamically farmed for top quality grapes, we have expanded our sections here over the last several years. The vineyard produces extremely low yielding, highly concentrated fruit, and we selected three separate blocks (head trained clone 1, VSP clone 1 and VSP musque clone) to increase complexity. The juice from these grapes absolutely demands fermentation and aging in larger format French oak barrels and specially designed cigar shaped barrels, a small portion of which is new (light, long toast). The wood acts like a corset, shaping the wine as it slowly ages on its lees for upwards of 16 months, depending upon vintage.
In 2018, we aged the wine for 15 months on its lees in French oak of various shapes and sizes (18% new). The resulting wine is tremendous; taut as a gymnast and loaded with rock solid fruit and minerals, with a scintillating spine of round, pleasing acidity that holds the wine aloft on the palate for minutes. We think this wine will age extremely well, 10 to 15 years at a minimum. This wine is extremely limited, only 150 cases were produced. We know this wine will be very well received, just as the 2017 was (94 points Jeb Dunnuck). Get some while you can.
2018 Pinot Noir, Duvarita Vineyard (Santa Barbara County)
The first Pinot Noir of the lovely 2018 vintage! Duvarita Vineyard, just west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation lies on south-facing slopes of almost pure sand. The grapes here are farmed biodynamically by the friendly, dedicated, obsessive Brook Williams. The low vigor soils, very careful irrigation, small canopy, and a low fruit zone combine to make this one of the lowest yielding and earliest ripening vineyards we farm. The small clusters here give wines that are lean and elegant, with terrific intensity, minerality and a remarkable depth of flavor even at lower alcohol levels.
2018 was an excellent vintage at Duvarita. Yields were balanced and the fruit very healthy at harvest. The wines are perhaps more fresh, generous and juicy than the more austere 2017, and they will certainly drink well earlier. Still, the material and structure are there for aging as well. As usual, the wine is on the elegant side, just the way we like it. The wine was aged on its lees for 16 months in French oak barrels (15% new) and bottled without filtration. Extremely Limited. Only 150 cases produced.PURCHASE
We hope that you are safe and healthy, and surviving this crisis with your families. In these times, a good meal is a real treasure, and we are ready to help garnish the table with some of Santa Barbara’s finest. That connection to the earth and to each other seems awfully important.
As we mentioned above, we are offering $1 shipping on orders of 3 bottles or more sent anywhere in the US. Call us at the Tasting Room (805-693-0077) or order on our online store and use the offer code 1SHIPPING at checkout.
John, Steve, Brandon and the entire Dragonette Cellars team