Jeb Dunnuck

October 2019

2017 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard Special Bottling
Brought up in new French oak barrels, the 2017 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard Special Bottling takes the straight Fe Ciega Vineyard release and gives it more oomph, depth, and richness. Stunning notes of red and black currants, scorched earth, wood smoke, and some complex, reductive notes all flow to a full-bodied Pinot Noir that’s flawlessly balanced, has ripe, present tannins, and a monster finish. It’s unquestionably the finest Pinot Noir I’ve ever tasted from this team. Jeb Dunnuck – 98 Points
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2016 Syrah Solomon Hills Vineyard Special bottling
There’s only a half-acre of Syrah in the Solomon Hills Vineyard so you don’t see many Syrah from this site, which based on the quality of the 2016 Syrah Solomon Hills Vineyard Special bottling is a shame. Sporting a medium ruby/purple color as well as awesome notes of blueberries, crushed violets, beef blood, and subtle marine notes, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a beautifully balanced, seamless texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. This is straight-up classy and one of the standout Syrahs in the lineup. It offers plenty of pleasure today, yet I suspect will evolve gracefully for at least a decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
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2016 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard
The 2016 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard offers more minerality, and well as dark, black fruits and pepper to go with a medium to full-bodied, smoky, meaty style on the palate. If the John Sebastiano Vineyard can be thought of as a Cote Rotie, this is much more Hermitage in style. Give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
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2017 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard
The 2017 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard is as classic a Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir as I could image and offers beautiful red currants, forest floors, dried flowers, and underbrush aromas and flavors. With a great texture, present yet ripe tannins, integrated acidity, and a great finish, you can drink bottles today or cellar for over a decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
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2017 Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard
From one of my favorite vineyards in Santa Maria, the 2017 Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard is another rich, powerful wine from this team. While slightly closed aromatically, it has plenty of fruit, medium to full body, lots of salty minerality, and a great finish. Beautifully balanced, concentrated, and just straight-up impressive, give bottles a year or two in the cellar. Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
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2017 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar Vineyard Special Bottling
The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar Vineyard Special Bottling was brought up in 50% new French oak whereas the regular release sees just 5% new oak. It also spent 16 months in barrel versus 11 months for the base cuvee. I don’t always find the Special Bottling superior to the regular bottling, but in this case, the change in elevage has resulted in a deep, richer, more textured wine. Offering plenty of tropical and orchard fruit interwoven with hints of crème caramel, white flowers, and brioche, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a rounded, layered texture, and a great finish. Its oak is beautifully integrated, yet it will still benefit from a year or so of bottle age and keep for over a decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 95 Points
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2016 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard
A head-turner that would stand up easily in a blind flight of top Côte Rôties, the 2016 Syrah John Sebastiano Vineyard boasts a ruby/purple hue as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, violets, flowery incense, and cedar. Medium-bodied, utterly seamless, and beautifully balanced, it’s a knockout bottle of Syrah from a great vineyard and great winemaking team! It will keep for at least a decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points
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2017 Pinot Noir Kessler Haak Vineyard
The 2017 Pinot Noir Kessler Haak Vineyard saw more stems than the other cuvees (50%) and offers an exotic, perfumed style that carries lots of blue fruits, blood orange, and floral aromas and flavors. Playing in the medium-bodied, elegant end of the spectrum, it has silky tannins, integrated acidity, and a great finish. It’s another beautiful wine from this estate that will evolve for at least a decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points
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2017 Pinot Noir Puerta Del Mar Vineyard
A standout in the lineup, the 2017 Pinot Noir Puerta Del Mar Vineyard comes from a cold, coastal site and offers stunning strawberry and cherry fruits intermixed with hints of spice, stems, and peppery herbs. Medium-bodied, silky, and just beautifully textured and seamless, it’s ideal for drinking anytime over the coming decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points
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2017 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar Vineyard
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
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2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard
Leading off the Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from one of the top vineyards in Santa Barbara County and it offers classic, masculine, mineral-driven notes as well as pretty apple blossom, white flowers, and salty sea breeze characteristics. Beautifully balanced, medium-bodied, and seamless, drink it over the coming decade. Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points
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2016 Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard
Coming from a warmer site near Ojai, in Ventura County, the 2016 Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard shows a pretty, elegant style (especially if compared to older vintages) as well as perfumed notes of blueberries, wild strawberries, bay leaf, and violets. With medium-bodied richness and depth, terrific balance, notable purity of fruit, and a great finish, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. Jeb Dunnuck – 93 Points
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2016 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard
The 2016 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard reveals a more ruby color as well as perfumed notes of red fruits, cedar, dried flowers, and forest floor. Showing a more cool-climate, elegant, fresh and focused style, give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 7-8. Jeb Dunnuck – 92+ Points
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2017 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County
The appellation 2017 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County is terrific, with a more Santa Maria mineral and masculine style. Medium-bodied, nicely balanced, and complex, with lots of smoke, dark fruits, and leafy herbs, it’s not a blockbuster but has beautiful character. Jeb Dunnuck – 92 Points
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2017 Riesling Kick On Vineyard
Exotic lime, quince, and lychee nut notes emerge from the 2017 Riesling Kick On Vineyard and it’s more dry and crisp than normal while still playing in the off-dry category. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and just a joy to drink, it should keep nicely for upwards of a decade, although I see no need to delay gratification. Jeb Dunnuck – 92 Points
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2016 Sangiovese White Hawk Vineyard
A terrific expression of Sangiovese, the 2016 Sangiovese White Hawk Vineyard, from Santa Barbara County, offers some pine, foresty notes as well as bright blackberry and cherry fruits, a kiss of background oak, medium body, and juicy acidity. Drink this forward, charming, beautifully balanced red over the coming 3-4 years. This will be the last vintage of this cuvee produced. Jeb Dunnuck – 91 Points
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2017 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard
The lightly hued 2017 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard is also medium-bodied and tight, with pretty notes of bright cherries, forest floor, smoke, and violets. It has good acidity and is need of 3-4 years of bottle age. Jeb Dunnuck – 91+ Points
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2017 Viognier Roll Ranch Vineyard
Plenty of apple blossom, apricots, and orange blossom nuances emerge from the 2017 Viognier Roll Ranch Vineyard and it’s a medium-bodied effort that has solid texture and depth of fruit, integrated acidity, and a clean, crisp finish. It has a kiss of saltiness on the finish that’s going to make it shine on the dinner table. Jeb Dunnuck – 91 Points
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2017 Syrah Santa Barbara County
Leading off the Syrahs, the 2017 Syrah Santa Barbara County offers a Saint Joseph-like style as well as plenty of blue fruits, violets, bay leaf, and peppery aromas and flavors. It’s medium-bodied, has fine tannins, and a terrific sense of elegance. Jeb Dunnuck – 90 Points
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2017 Sans Soufre Ajoute 
A blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2017 Ajoute John Sebastiano Vineyard Sans Soufre is a forward, straight up delicious effort loaded with notions of blue fruits, violets, ground pepper, and background meatiness. Nicely balanced, with ripe tannins and medium-bodied richness and depth, drink it over the coming 2-4 years. Jeb Dunnuck – 90 Points
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2018 Rose
I loved the 2018 Rose from this team, and it has a medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing style as well as pretty notes of tangerines, citrus, and a kiss of salty minerality.  Jeb Dunnuck – 90 Points
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2017 Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard
Starting with the whites from the team of Adam Tolmach the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard is outstanding, showing bright grapefruit, lime, and floral notes as well as medium body, notable purity, and salivating levels of acidity. Jeb Dunnuck – 90 Points
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