- Item #: i_215880Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93Dragonette strives to create Chardonnays of textural purity, complexity and balance with classic tension. Complexity and balance are achieved by meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard, where each vineyard block is managed for appropriate canopy and proper yields. Tension and textural purity begin in the vineyard with low yields and balanced acidity at harvest. Native yeast fermentation in clean oak cooperage and aging on the lees aid in preserving the purity of texture. Dragonette ages their wines on their lees, without racking, and constant topping. Moreover, each wine is bottled only after sufficient time in barrel to permit ideal evolution. The SRH blend is constructed from these individual components selected for diversity of site and soils to create complexity and harmony. This year, the wine is a blend of fruit from Donnachadh, Spear, and Bentrock vineyards, which are all organically or sustainably farmed.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Leading off the Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills comes from multiple sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and was aged 15 months in 10% new French oak. It offers a classic Burgundian style in its ripe buttered orchard fruits, brioche, and toasty oak aromas and flavors, yet has plenty of classic Sta. Rita Hills salinity and minerality. Rounded and nicely textured, with good acidity, drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is lush, full-bodied and decidedly extroverted, and yet it retains quite a bit of freshness for such a big wine. Orange peel, almond, spice and tropical overtones all run through this creamy, voluptuous Chardonnay. This is easily one of the more extroverted 2017 Chardonnays I tasted. Fruit sources are Donnachadh, Spear, Rita's Crown, Radian and Bentrock. These Chardonnay lots spent 16-18 months in barrel."
- Item #: i_274798Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "I loved the 2017 Pinot Noir Ashley's, a wonderfully complex, balanced, nuanced effort that offers loads of character. Coming from a vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and aged 16 months in 63% new French oak, it offers classic notes of black raspberries, currants, ground herbs, forest floor, and earth. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, with plenty of ripe tannins, it's a layered, complex Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Dark cherry, plum, cola, mint and cloves all run through the 2017 Pinot Noir Ashley's. Plum and juicy, with tons of voluptuous richness, the Ashley's is a classic expression of the richer side of the Sta. Rita Hills. Soft curves and silky tannins add to the wine's overt, sumptuous feel. The 2017 was done with 25% whole clusters, but they are pretty much buried by the sheer richness of the fruit."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Pale ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Ashley's Vineyard opens with notes of granite, pipe tobacco and blueberry with cracked peppercorn, dried leaves, tree bark and bergamot—very savory and earthy but lovely! Light to medium-bodied, it has grainy tannins to support the earthy fruit layers plus juicy acidity and a long, nuanced finish."
- Item #: i_236780Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93Liquid Farm's "White Hill" bottling is the leaner and more Chablisiane of their two Chardonnay bottlings. Comprised of fruit from some of the best vineyards in the area, White Hill highlights the unique salinity that comes through in the ancient soils of Santa Rita Hills. The style of this wine will always be racier and predominately neutral barrel fermentation. Its profile is that of mineral, yellow peach, fresh Asian pear, salinity, linen, candied ginger, and lavender cream.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay White Hill is bright and beautifully focused. Lemon oil, white flowers and tropical accents give this mid-weight, layered Chardonnay tons of character. Chamomile, apricot, sage, crushed rocks and mint develop later, adding striking dimensions of complexity. The 2018 is a blend from Clos Pepe, Kessler-Haak and La Rinconada, sites that are so complementary."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay White Hill, which was brought up in a mix of neutral oak and stainless steel, it reveals a light gold hue to go with a great bouquet of caramelized citrus, white flowers, brioche, and salty minerality. Vibrant, fresh, medium-bodied, and elegant on the palate, it's beautifully done and should evolve for over a decade in cold cellars."
- Item #: i_241220Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93The fruit for this wine comes exclusively from Melville's Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of two different Syrah clones (Estrella and Clone 99). The Estrella is from Donna's block which is planted on well drained, nutrient deficient sand. The neutrality of this soil always lends an intoxicating and high toned bouquet of flowers and spice while the Clone 99 from Block I is planted on denser sandy loam soil, bringing depth and richness to the resultant wine. 60% of the fruit was gently de-stemmed with 40% remaining as whole clusters and was fermented in small 1.5 ton open top fermenters.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016s are the first wines Chad Melville made at his family's estate after taking over from Greg Brewer. I thought the 2016s were promising when I tasted them from barrel last year. The bottled wines are every bit as impressive."
"The 2016 Syrah Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is fresh, nuanced and distinctive. There is an element of freshness and vivacity to the 2016 that is incredibly appealing. Blueberry, lavender, violet, spice and mint notes are nicely lifted in this precise, strikingly beautiful Syrah from Melville. The 40% whole clusters are felt, but also nicely integrated within the wine's fabric."
- Item #: i_241360Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 94In the wind-swept, rolling hills of western Santa Barbara County, you will find one of the best cool-climate growing regions on earth. And in this area, you will find one of the more consistent Pinot Noir producers in California!
Ron Melville and his family have been farming high quality grapes for over 30 years. After finding success in Sonoma County, Ron's desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah brought Melville Vineyards to the Sta. Rita Hills. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is unique, as it is one of the few grape growing regions in California whose valley runs west to east. In doing so, the cooling air from the Pacific Ocean is able to rush through the area, keeping the daily temperatures low, and providing a long growing season that maximizes flavors. The soils at Melville are a mix of sand and clay, giving Pinot Noir beautiful aromatics combined with ripe, but not overpowering fruit. In addition, Melville plants their vines at a denser spacing than most. In doing so, root systems must compete with each other, inhibiting rigorous growth, naturally lowering yields and furthering the development of flavor and concentration. Farming at Melville is sustainable at a minimum, but often done organically.
Melville's "Estate" Pinot Noir is a collection of 16 different Pinot Noir clones fermented in small 1.5 ton open-top fermenters. Yields were just 1.5 tons per acre! This is the type of small yields that you typically see for Pinot Noirs selling for $75-$100+...but Melville's wine sells for way less than that! Combine that with the stellar 94 point score from critic Jeb Dunnuck, and you'll see why this has been one of our favorite wines to sell for the past several years! This is the second vintage "from grape to glass" that Chad Melville has produced since taking over from Greg Brewer, and if this is any indication, the Melville wines are destined for continued greatness!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Coming from vines around the estate, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is based on a mix of clones and was 60% destemmed and brought up all in totally neutral oak. It's a classic Melville Pinot Noir that jumps from the glass with its spiced red and black fruits, dried flower, marine-like salinity, bay leaf, and forest floor aromas and flavors. Balanced, medium-bodied, and elegant on the palate, with light tannins and nicely integrated acidity, it can be drunk today or cellared for a decade."
- Item #: i_249600Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93Peake Ranch is a boutique winery owned by John & Gillian Wagner. Like all of us who have visited Santa Barbara County, the couple fell in love with the beautiful country side and the friendliness of the people.. They purchased Peake Ranch with a vision of building a winery and a house on the property. Years later they are in their third vintage garnering rave reviews from the top critics. Paul Lato leads the team as winemaker and with nearly two decades of experience, has earned critical acclaim with top critics along with placements of his own wines in top restaurants in the United States, Europe and Japan!
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "An up and coming estate readers need to check out is John and Gillian Wagner's Peake Ranch. Located on the eastern/southern side of the Sta. Rita Hills, they produce a stunning array of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrahs. Prices haven't caught up with quality, so these are still screaming values."
"Moving to the 2017 Pinot Noirs, the largest production cuvee is the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, which was destemmed and spent 18 months in 50% new French oak. Black cherries, ground herbs, forest floor, and hints of candied violets all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, supple, nicely textured, balanced effort. It's drinking nicely today yet should improve with a year in bottle and keep for 5-7 years."
- Item #: i_295790Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Zotovich Cellars is a family owned and operated boutique winery located in coastal Lompoc, California. Winemaker, Ryan Zotovich is coming most recently from Sea Smoke where he began working with Kris Curran. Prior to working at Sea Smoke, Ryan was the assistant winemaker at Palmina. With Ryan’s help, Zotovich Cellars is proud to offer small, closely monitored lots of estate wine. 100% of the grapes crushed into Zotovich wine are grown on the 35 acre Zotovich estate vineyard located off of Route 246, between Melville and Foley wineries.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir is fresh, floral and a total delight to taste. Bright red/purplish berry fruit, wild flowers, and sweet spice are all beautifully lifted. This gracious, mid-weight Pinot captures the essence of this district in the Sta. Rita Hills, where sandy soils yield aromatic, elegant wines of real character. The 2017 is simply delicious."