Dragonette Cellars 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills
An appellation blend in name only, this wine is crafted from several of the finest vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, including Bentrock (30%), Radian (15%), Sanford & Benedict (15%), Fiddlestix (10%), La Rinconada (10%), Spear (10%), John Sebastiano (5%), and Duvarita (5%). Each of the blocks we farm in these Pinot Noir vineyards is individually managed to ensure the highest quality fruit at harvest time, the dates for which are selected after multiple, often daily visits to the vineyards, meticulous sampling and extensive tasting. We ferment each block with native yeasts, and then separately barrel each lot into the finest French oak cooperage, 10 percent of which is new. The wines are aged on their lees for 15 months, and then blended and bottled without filtration.
With this careful attention to detail throughout the season and in the cellar, the wines display great depth and concentration, with beautiful texture from lees aging and minimal handling. For the Sta. Rita Hills appellation blend, we select wines for their complexity, bright expression, cheery personality, and food friendliness.
The 2019 has begun drinking very well, right out of the gate, with super complex red and blue fruits, a touch of minerals, baking spices, fresh herbs and forest floor, along with great natural acidity. The wine is perhaps a bit more dense than the fresh, inviting 2018, but it is also layered and juicy with fantastic fruit that echoes on the long finish. Although young, the wine’s great freshness and lift provides delicious drinking already, with 8-10 years of aging potential as well. Only 550 cases of this wine were produced in 2019, and we expect this wine to be snapped up much faster than in past years.