Santa Barbara County
In this ultra-cool climate site way out by Lompoc, vintage expression has always been stark. After seven harvests from Puerta Del Mar we’ve seen each offer unique expressions of shape and intensity. What’s consistent though is balance and subtlety preserved by onshore breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean, so that’s given us a framework to tinker a bit with our approach in the cellar with results plain to see.
In step with our other 2017 Chardonnays, there’s a voluminous feel here: flavors of pear and just ripe apricot come on with a gentle clinging richness, but stay light footed thanks to salty acidity from a background streak of preserved lemon. Aromatically it shows what’s becoming classic Puerta Del Mar chalkiness, laced with lemongrass, fruit blossoms and vanilla that’ll pull your attention into the glass.
Speaking of vanilla, we’ve been discreetly nudging up our incorporation of newer French Oak barrels into this wine. It’s subtle, with new barrels preconditioned by our thorough steaming and pressure washing. But with around 10% new and preconditioned barrels, there’s a threshold perception of vanilla bean and grated spice that just enough to be enticing. The understated richness compliments sashimi and crudos when extra-aromatic whites like Riesling seem too much for the moment.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Alc: %13.0 | Vinification: Barrel Fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 11 Months | Total Production: 461 cases
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta del Mar really bristles with energy, tension and nuance. Lemon confit, white flowers, crushed rocks and a whole range of mineral/saline notes give the Puerta del Mar its sense of drive. This is one of the more chiseled Chardonnays in the range, and also very typical of this part of the appellation.” – Antonio Galloni 94 Points
“The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar Vineyard is a more pretty, elegant white and has plenty of salty minerality as well as notes of lemon, crushed citrus, and white flowers. It shines for its purity of fruit, is medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and has a crisp finish.” Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points