2017 Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar

Year: 2017
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 94
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
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"The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta del Mar is shy on the nose to begin, fleshing out to aromas of baker's yeast, red apple, dried acacia, clover honey, hay and crushed stone. The palate is medium-bodied and savory in character, with lively acidity to lift and a long, savory finish. 461 cases produced." (WA)

"The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta del Mar really bristles with energy, tension and nuance. Lemon confit, white flowers, crushed rocks and a whole range of mineral/saline notes give the Puerta del Mar its sense of drive. This is one of the more chiseled Chardonnays in the range, and also very typical of this part of the appellation." (VM)

"The 2017 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar Vineyard is a more pretty, elegant white and has plenty of salty minerality as well as notes of lemon, crushed citrus, and white flowers. It shines for its purity of fruit, is medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and has a crisp finish." (JD)

Winery Notes:
In this ultra-cool climate site way out by Lompoc, vintage expression has always been stark. After seven harvests from Puerta Del Mar we’ve seen each offer unique expressions of shape and intensity. What’s consistent though is balance and subtlety preserved by onshore breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean, so that’s given us a framework to tinker a bit with our approach in the cellar with results plain to see.

In step with our other 2017 Chardonnays, there’s a voluminous feel here: flavors of pear and just ripe apricot come on with a gentle clinging richness, but stay light footed thanks to salty acidity from a background streak of preserved lemon. Aromatically it shows what’s becoming classic Puerta Del Mar chalkiness, laced with lemongrass, fruit blossoms and vanilla that’ll pull your attention into the glass.

Speaking of vanilla, we’ve been discreetly nudging up our incorporation of newer French Oak barrels into this wine. It’s subtle, with new barrels preconditioned by our thorough steaming and pressure washing. But with around 10% new and preconditioned barrels, there’s a threshold perception of vanilla bean and grated spice that just enough to be enticing. The understated richness compliments sashimi and crudos when extra-aromatic whites like Riesling seem too much for the moment.