I cannot believe this winery & its wines are still “under the radar screen” for most wine aficionados. I truly believe their wines REALLY over deliver, quality for the dollar. The Estate “Gold Coast” vineyard is roughly 30 acres located on a wind pounded mesa, 5 minutes closer to the ocean from Bien Nacido—roughly 10 acres-Chardonnay & 20 acres-Pinot Noir (most of was planted in the late 80’s/early 90’s to heirloom/heritage plant material—mostly Martini for Pinot & clone 4 & Wente for Chardonnay). The soils are very sandy with tiny bits of seashells as it was one time under water. These soils & the sea breezes which pound the vineyard help create the sea-shelly minerality in the finished wines. Winemaker/co-owner, Gary Burk is another 1 man show operation….so it is yet another artisan, family owned, small, Estate project. The resulting wines are so pure & transparent (seashells), elegant, lovely, impeccably balanced with fabulous texture & superb balance. I also think DELICIOUS is the perfect word to describe their wines.
This is a wonderfully pure, transparent, lovely, seamless, UN-heavy Chardonnay totally about the marine soils it is grown in. Mostly comprised of estate fruit, although there is some Fiddlestix Dijon clones added for seasoning…NO new oak, 100% malolactic with some less contact.
2012 Chardonnay “Santa Maria Valley”
100% Estate fruit (clone 4 & Wente), 100% malolactic & 30% new oak. This wine still has the purity & transparency, but certainly more lush & textural. Way over delivers!!!!!!
2012 Chardonnay “Reserva Dorada”
250 case production—a selection of the best barrels—wild yeast fermented, 100% malolactic, 50% new oak. This wine is way more stony than it is minerally….but more subtle upon entry on the palate, though luscious, viscous & grandiose without any sense of heaviness or oakiness.
An absolutely lovely, delicious, seductively textured Pinot, which REALLY over delivers for the dollar. The 2012 is mainly Estate fruit (Martini selection) with tiny amounts of Kick On Vineyard (also Martini) & Solomon Hills (clone 115). The wine sees NO stem inclusion & is aged in OLD oak.
2012 Pinot Noir “Santa Maria Valley”
100% estate Martini selection (planted in 89 & 90)…10 picks thru the vineyard (23 to 24.5 brix), NO stem inclusion, 30% new oak. This wine certainly showcases the savory, reticent, earthy-floral spice of the Martini selection with a seasalt/nori character from the marine soils, BUT still sooooo delicious, lovely, ethereal & seductive.
2012 Pinot Noir “Oro Rojo”
A selection of the finest barrels (this year only 10). 50% new oak. Displays more grandeur, BUT still will lots of finesse & subtlety initially with elegance, gracefulness, class & refinement. WOW!! A real standout!!!!