Santa Barbara County
Puerta de Mar (literally: “Door to the Sea”) is a new vineyard that we are excited about! Planted ½ mile east of highway 1 just outside of Lompoc, it trumps Kick On Ranch as our coolest vineyard site. It is located so far west that the original creators of the Santa Rita Hills appellation didn’t think it was possible to ripen grapes here, thus it wasn’t included within the growing region’s boundaries. Call it ignorance or the influence of global warming, they were clearly wrong! Admittedly the pinot noir and chardonnay grown here ripen late, but the wines are better for it and possess an admirable subtlety that I attribute to the ocean’s ever-present influence.
Southern California has a reputation of always having the same weather, but it is actually quite variable—one summer might be hot and the next foggy—and that greatly affects the grape’s composition and ultimately how the wine will taste. This vineyard suffers through lots of fog and wind in the spring, giving us small yields. But there was no problem with ripening—summer and fall were ideal in 2013. The wine has the unique exotic spices (cardamom) aroma that is identifiably Puerta del Mar.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 11 Months | Total Production: 196 cases
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Light gold. Mineral- and ginger-tinged aromas of fresh citrus fruits and jasmine, with subtle iodine and mint nuances adding complexity. Sappy and penetrating, offering lively orange zest and bitter pear skin flavors that put on weight with aeration. Shows very good energy and cut on the finish, which leaves a sexy floral note behind.” – JR 92 Points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Seeing slightly more new oak and coming from a tiny, frigidly cold vineyard that’s located just outside of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the 2013 Chardonnay Puerta del Mar offers lots of stone and orchard fruits, citrus blossom, subtle oak and lots of saltiness to go with a layered, focused and gorgeously pure style on the palate. This is a riveting Chardonnay that does everything right, and I think it’s a fair step up over the 2012.” – JD 94 Points