Within the greater STA Rita Hills AVA, John’s mentors focus on the southern Santa Rosa Road Corridor where rockier soils can be found. However, John has listened to Rajat Parr, Sashi Moorman, and many other experienced winemakers all lament vintner’s decisions to chase the profit of Pinot Noir in the sandier northern Purisma Corridor rather than Chardonnay. The opportunity seemed too grand to pass up: a chance to apply his mentors’ techniques in the unchartered sands of the North. John immediately thought of Zotovitch Vineyard, which lies on a gentle dune crest within the greater Purisima chute; above Clos Pepe and Melville vineyards.
Back when he was assistant winemaker at Fiddlehead, John lived with Ryan Zotovitch in an old farm house just across the river from Lompoc. Through his close friendship, was able to secure a bit of fruit from what is today, one of the star Chardonnay sites in all of the STA. Rita Hills.
The relatively light crop, warm vintage, and early ripening of 2013 combined for intense yet bright and energetic wines
AT THE WINERY:
John applied the same intuitive, largely hands off approach that he practices with his other projects to let the nuance of the vineyard shine. No sulfur until after completion of malolactic conversion, native fermentation, no additives etc.
Classic austere Oyster Shell aromas denote a serious Chardonnay rather than a flabby California Oak monster. In the mouth, lime zest and raw quince are supported by a solid mouthfeel. The high acid lifts the barrel-aged wine to walk a graceful tight rope between the old and new world. Racey, yet seductive and extremely drinkable
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