Thank you to all who participated in our online release—it is your continued patronage that makes this endeavor possible.
We look forward to sharing these wines with you at both our winery and in select restaurants and retailers in the coming months.
In Lompoc, we welcome you to join us for a comprehensive tasting of the vintage and a tour of our estate vineyards. The vintage is now available in limited quantities for purchase at the winery.
The winter of 2017 was punctuated by heavy rains in California. By the end of February, the Santa Rita Hills had fully emerged from a long drought that had characterized the last three vintages.
Spring ensued with mild and even temperatures bringing a typical bud break in early March. Flowering followed the first week of May and moderate temperatures remained until veraison – with only a few days of the summer exceeding the mid-eighties. Our harvest began with the Pied de Cuve on August 21.
The main harvest started on August 25th - about a week later than in 2016 - and concluded on September 2nd. We narrowly escaped the heat spikes of early September that dictated the vintage for much of our region.
In the winery, we continued with our practice of implementing a Pied de Cuve - a traditional, though oft-forgotten winemaking technique useful in cultivating native yeasts and a healthy spontaneous fermentation. Thereafter, we filled our open-top concrete tanks with whole bunches, fermented the wine until dryness and gently pressed the skins. After a short settling of the new wine, the wines were moved to barrels, all from a single cooper, Tonnellerie Ermitage, for fourteen months of elevage before bottling with no fining or filtration.
Memorious leads the vintage with its winsome openness. Vivid red fruit meets the nose with aromas of bergamot and cedar. The generous palate follows suit, with resounding flavors of raspberry and plum, complemented first by baking spices and then the distinctive salinity for which this greater hillside is known. This is the wine to open first - but it will continually command a revisit throughout the decade to come.
Perched above the Santa Ynez River, Memorious is immediately downslope from Bloom’s Field. The vineyard bends gently to the southwest, opening its face to the Pacific Ocean and its winds. It rests upon a bedrock of Monterey Shale covered by alluvial deposits; its soils are the heaviest of the domaine—deep brown in color, composed primarily of clay.
Memorious is host to - and consequently, named for - our one acre of Pinot Noir seedlings, planted in 2007. With these seedlings, which are in effect the “memories” of Pinot Noir, we have set out to identify and, over many years to come, cultivate our own genetic selection of one of the world’s greatest grape varieties.
Bloom’s Field is our tightrope act—a delicate balance of brambly fruit and geranium. Its bouquet threads aromas of tarragon and sage amidst rose hips and plum. On the palate, its concentration is equally matched by its tensile frame. Bloom’s Field continues to be our most savory and ethereal wine, poised to further unwind with each minute in the glass – and each year in bottle.
Alongside Memorious downslope, Bloom’s Field spans the southwest-facing hillside that delineates the windward edge of our domaine. The Monterey Shale bedrock of Memorious is prevalent here, too, however the clay top soils of Bloom’s Field are lighter in color and texture, particularly as the vineyard climbs the slope. Here, our heritage selections of Pinot Noir - Calera, Swan, and Mount Eden - are planted in alternating rows, providing an elucidating way to observe communication across a genetically diverse vineyard.
The 2017 la Côte brilliantly resonates in the glass: aromas of pomegranate and sour cherry are enlaced with sandalwood and anise. Lush red fruit and dark, cooling tones of licorice extend across the palate with remarkable breadth. Its beguiling concentration and elegant tannins promise that this wine is only alluding to the complexity it will display with age.
La Côte blankets a steep southeast-facing hillside on the leeward slope of our domaine. Unimpeded by the inexorable winds that confront Bloom’s Field and Memorious to the west, la Côte enjoys more optimal pollination and less shatter. The vineyard possesses the most heterogeneous soils of our estate: its bedrock varies from Monterey Shale to Diatomaceous Earth to alluvium, and the associated soils range from shallow and rocky - with a plethora of broken stones - to rich and homogenous downslope.
We welcome our committed patrons and new customers to visit our vineyards and winery, by advance appointment only, Thursday through Monday.
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