In a recent tasting of top-notch Chardonnays, a small Santa Rita Hill winery surprised us all.
Our group of 16 “professionals” tasted 10 highly-rated and well-regarded Chardonnays.
DuMOL Wester Reach 96 Points
Paul Lato Souvenir 97 Points
Peter Michael “Belle Cote” 98 Points
Hudson “Seashell” 98 Points
Kistler “Cuvee Cathleen” 97 Points
Paull Hobbs “Edward James” 97 Points
Mail Road “Mt Carmel” 95 Points
Senses B.A. Thieriot 97 Points
Brewer Clifton “3 D” 96 Points
The Hilt” Bentrock” 96 Points
Mail Road Mt. Carmel – 10 First, 3 Second, 2 Third place votes
Paul Lato Souvernir – 4 First, 8 Second, 3 Third place votes
DuMol Wester Reach – 2 First, 2 Second, 5 Third place votes
This is a venture by 3 partners, Matt Dees, Michael Palmer, and Ron Piazza. A very limited release of Santa Barbara's new Cult Pinot Noir. The winemaker is Matt Dees, known for his amazing winemaking skills at Jonata & The Hilt (two wineries owned by Screaming Eagle winery)
Vineyard: Planted in 1988, Mt. Carmel straddles the saddle of an exposed, two-tiered mountain, just north of the Santa Ynez River, at the geographic center of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. In its 35 years, Mt. Carmel has secured its reputation as a world-class site for chardonnay and pinot noir. In that time, the vineyard has consistently produced many of The Sta. Rita Hills’ most highly coveted, single vineyard wines. Wines that are remarkable for their expression of site, marked by deep concentration, exceptional depth, textural complexity, and laser-like acidity.
Mail Road 2020 “Mount Carmel Vineyard” Santa Rita Hills
Retail 129.99 – GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MAILROAD during checkout
Delicately lovely aromas of honeysuckle, lemon blossom, crisp apple, and Asian pear invite the nose into this excellent bottling from an iconic vineyard. There's an extremely chalky grip to the sip and yet generous flavors of coconut and pear. It's fascinatingly expressive for being so tightly wound.
Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “The 2020 Chardonnay Mount Carmel Vineyard has a pure, crystalline vibe in its bright lemon curd and orchard fruit aromatics, and its medium-bodied, with bright, almost racy acidity, some distinct minerality, good mid-palate density, and a great finish. It will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for a decade.”
Vinous 95 Points: “The 2020 Chardonnay Mt. Carmel Vineyard is elegant, silky, and nuanced. Orchard fruit, white flowers, and mint are some of the many notes that open first. This is an unusually refined Chardonnay from Mt. Carmel, where wines tend to be more rugged. All the elements are so well put together aided by long aging on the lees, which really works well here. White flower, mint, chalk, and bright saline notes linger on the sculpted finish.
Also, check out the Mail Road 2019 Mount Carmel Santa Rita Hills 97 Points (assorts for FREE SHIPPING)
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