2022 Tin Shack Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills
Our Chardonnay for 2022 is once again coming from Spear Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and it continues to solidify for me the outstanding quality of Chardonnay we are able to grow in Santa Barbara county. 2022 was a challenging year for grape growing and despite the almost always cool climate of the Sta Rita Hills, the heat bomb that effected most of California in late August took it’s toll here too. After the heat had gone and temperatures went back to normal, the vines were very slow to respond. We knew the sugar numbers we were getting from our samples were a bit exaggerated but they weren’t changing and neither was the acidity in the fruit. Luckily we were in the window and decided to pull the trigger and bring it in before anything else could go askew. We picked exactly one month to the day earlier than last year. September 6th as opposed to October 6th of last year. Thanks to the pristine shape of the fruit and some great farming we ended up with beautiful Chardonnay that went flawlessly through a very clean and complete fermentation in stainless steel. Followed by a year in completely neutral French oak barrels and voila… the finished product that you have in hand today. I am really excited about the tension in this wine between the ripe character of the fruit and the very racy acidity that remained in the fruit when we picked. This is a Chardonnay that will be a star at the dinner table and one that will age well into it’s teenage years.