2020 Summer Release
New Release: 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara and 2018 Pinot Noirs, Radian Vineyard and Sta. Rita Hills
Update From the Tasting Room, Winery and Study!
Let us begin with an enormous thanks to the tasting room staff for their manning of the first post-Covid tastings. We planned out the new spaces and protocols, and the team executed like crazy. We had a fantastic re-opening weekend, with many groups, safely enjoying (and buying) the new wines. Thanks Team! We learned a few things about how to operate the electronic scheduling and the room, and we will implement those as we go forward to make all of your tastings run as smoothly and tastily as possible. Whether you fancy a private visit at the Study or Winery, or a table in the bustling, happy tasting room, come see us soon! (reserve with our online reservation system).
New Release Wines
We are thrilled to announce three new releases of exciting new wines. These wines are available at the Tasting Room, or in our store. Get some while they last!
2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Just in time for summer, we are ready to release the 2019 version of our well known blend of Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is crafted from grapes from some of the most outstanding vineyards in Santa Barbara: Grassini, Grimm’s Bluff and Vogelzang. Each vineyard is meticulously farmed for balanced yields and extremely high quality, and we utilize grapes from three distinct blocks and two clones in each vineyard. Each block contributes personality and complexity to the blend. Befitting the concentration and intensity of these obsessively farmed sites, the juice was fermented, and wines aged on their lees in a mix of 75% neutral oak and 25% stainless steel for 7 months before bottling. 2019 was a truly great vintage in Santa Barbara, and the grapes were picked at a perfect ripeness, with ideal acidity. You will want this wine with grilled seafood, vegetables, pasta or any number of good appetizers. It works well all by itself too.
The 2018 version of this wine earned a sterling review and 92 points from Antonio Galloni in Vinous Media. He called that wine “goregous … with striking aromatic intensity and depth” among other glowing comments. We think the 2019 wine is similarly constructed and accolade-worthy.
2018 Pinot Noir, Radian Vineyard
Always one of the most anticipated wines we make, Radian makes a slightly earlier appearance this year, both because it is tasting delicious already and because the 2018 Pinot Noir Duvarita Vineyard sold out so fast (we are saving some for the red-only wine club). The 2018 Radian is deep and complex as usual, with concentrated red fruits, exquisite minerals, and a good solid backbone of herb-edged tannins; however, in 2018 it is so far showing a particularly fresh acidity which seems to lift the fruit up and let it slowly descend upon the palate, seemingly like a billowy parachute. This wine was made in tiny quantities (450 cases), most of which will go to the Wine Club.
The wine received 94-96 + points from Jeb Dunnuck, who wrote:
“Another stunner, the 2018 Pinot Radian is a more mineral-laced, elegant, focused wine that has bright acidity as well as great aromatics of tart strawberries, raspberries, spring flowers, and sappy herbs. There’s a terrific sense of minerality in this wine, which has ripe tannins, beautiful purity, and a great finish…” JebDunncuk.com, August 2019
2018 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
The Sta Rita Hills program combines fruit from multiple blocks and four distinct vineyards to create complexity and balance. We have always believed that blending diverse terroirs could yield a whole which would be greater than the sum of its parts. Wines form the warmer parts of the SRH would provide dramatic fruits and baking spices, wines from the cooler portions would provide, higher toned red fruits, fresh herbs, minerals and great acidity.
Like its predecessors, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is an appellation blend in name only. This wine is crafted from several of the finest vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, including, for the first time, the old vines from the famous Sanford & Benedict Vineyard (30%). The blend is rounded out with Bentrock (23%), La Rinconada (14%), John Sebastiano (14%), Radian (7%), Spear (6%), Fiddlestix (3%) and Donnachadh (3%). The multiple vineyards combine to create great complexity, and 15 months aging on the lees provides texture, structure and length. Although young, the wine’s great freshness and lift provides delicious drinking already, and the wine has a long life ahead of it.
Critical acclaim has always been excellent on this wine, with the last five vintages scoring between 92-94 points. The 2018 should garner similar reviews.
2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Vogelzang Vineyard. Only a few cases remain. 95 points and among the best reviewed Sauvignon Blancs in the world. Great with seafood, creamy pasta, goat cheese. Ageable as well. You all know this wine, and in the world of Sauvignon Blanc, this is a steal. As Jeb Dunnuck says, “another singular, gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc from this estate that’s up with the best of the best.” JebDunnuck.com
And Do Not Forget
The 2019 Rosé is still around, though with California restaurants reopening, the orders are starting to take off. We recommend getting some soon, before it is all gone. Fresh and lively, with inviting aromas and complex flavors, this is definitely one of our favorites. The perfect wine for summer: days by the pool, picnics, trips to the beach, and of course pairing with food off the grill. Yum.
We look forward to seeing you in the tasting room, the Study, the Winery and online in one of our livestream events. And, do let us know what you are tasting and what you are pairing the wines with; we love hearing your stories.
John, Steve, Brandon and the entire Dragonette Cellars team