Santa Barbara County
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This 2016 Sangiovese comes from White Hawk vineyard, which is a big vine-covered sand dune up in the hills north of Los Alamos in Santa Barbara County. With its poor soils and Southeast exposure, White Hawk has always provided fruit with lots of personality—we saw that for over a decade with our Syrah from this site. For a few years Adam passed by the Sangiovese block enroute to our Syrah and thought “Hey, that looks cool,” and after our first varietal bottling in 2011 it’s been a tasting room favorite since.
The drought years of 2013-2015 provided snappier expressions of Sangiovese when picked for the acidity we wanted. Picking for the same acidity in 2016 produced a different effect. In 2016 the weather returned to a more coastal, onshore driven pattern so the fruit had more time to build density. The racier plum and tart cherry notes familiar from earlier bottlings are here, as are the tobacco and leathery notes, but that all contains a plush purply ripeness that’s most like acai fruit, even with that discreet chocolatey minerality.
It’s a different kind of Sangiovese than some of the traditional Italian ones, like Brunello for instance, which is often made to be dense, brooding and tannic, taking years to come into balance. We lean on the freshness and vibrancy of the grape, allowing just enough spine to speak to Sangiovese’s origins, and present something that’s versatile as can be at the table.
Blend: 100% Sangiovese | Alc: 14% | Vinification: traditional open top fermentation using 50% whole clusters | Barrel Aging: 22 Months in older French Oak | Total Production: 229 cases