Jeb Dunnuck Scores our 2019 Vintage!
2019 ‘Los Alamos Vineyard’ Chardonnay– 94 Points
Boasting a killer bouquet of reductive stone fruits, lemon, chalky minerality, and toast, the 2019 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is medium-bodied and has flawless balance as well as clean, integrated acidity. Brought up in just 15% new French oak, it’s unfortunate that there are a scant 485 cases produced. It’s beautiful today, yet I see no reason it won’t keep for 7-8 years if stored properly.
2019 ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Chardonnay– 97 Points
There are nine barrels of the 2019 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard, which comes from one of the top sites in the whole Central Coast. Revealing a medium gold hue as well as lots of orchard and ripe lemon fruits, it’s medium to full-bodied and has classic Bien Nacido salinity, subtle toasty and nutty nuances, a solid spine of acidity, and a great, great finish. This brilliant, gorgeous Chardonnay does everything right, and I’d put it up with the crème de la crème of the vintage.
2019 ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ Chardonnay– 95 Points
The 2019 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is slightly more reserved aromatically, offering an impressive array of spiced orchard fruits intermixed with white flowers, crushed stone, brioche and honeysuckle-like nuances. Medium-bodied on the palate, it has a bright spine of acidity, lots of salinity, good mid-palate depth, and just terrific overall balance as well as length.
2019 ‘Los Alamos Vineyard’ Pinot Noir– 95 Points
Translucent ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard, from the warmer, sandy Los Alamos region, was mostly destemmed (15% stems) and spent 18 months in 15% new barrels. A wonderful perfume of mulled cherries, baking spices, dried herbs, flowers, and forest floor gives way to a medium-bodied, ethereally styled, balanced, graceful Pinot Noir with light tannins and a great finish. It’s all about finesse and elegance, and it’s a beautiful, seamless Pinot Noir.
2019 ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Pinot Noir– 94+ Points
The 2019 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard offers a more exotic, iodine, marine-like style as well as beautiful ripe cherry and redcurrant fruits to go with plenty of briny, mineral, and chalky nuances. This is a wine for those who prize minerality over fruit, and it’s medium-bodied, with a focused, pure texture, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. I think it will show even better in a few years and keep for a good decade.
2019 ‘Zotovich Vineyard’ Pinot Noir– 93 Points
Another gem from the Sta. Rita Hills, the 2019 Pinot Noir Zotovich Vineyard offers a medium-bodied, round, more supple style as well as impressive redcurrant-like fruits, notes of damp underbrush, forest floor, and shrimp broth, ripe tannins, and just beautiful overall balance and texture. Mostly destemmed and aged 17 months in 15% new French oak, drink it over the coming 7-8 years or more.
2019 ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ Pinot Noir– 97 Points
I loved the 2019 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. This is a gem in the vintage that readers should snatch up. A more floral, ethereal wine, it has gorgeous cherry and framboise fruit, medium body, a tight, vibrant, focused mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and a bright spine of acidity that carries through the finish. It’s a stunning Pinot Noir that I’d happily put in a blind lineup with the best out there. Give it a year or two and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.
2019 ‘Schock Family Vineyard’ Pinot Noir– 93 Points
The 2019 Pinot Noir Schock Family Vineyard from Santa Barbara County is one of the more exotic and complex wines in the lineup, giving up lots of pretty red (and some black) fruits as well as sappy, minty, foresty nuances, medium-bodied richness, grippy yet ripe tannins, and a fresh yet rich and lengthy finish.