Dragonette Cellars Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 Red Wine
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Dragonette Cellars Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021
Sta. Rita Hills AVA, CA
“Dragonette is one of the most fascinating wineries in the Central Coast. The best wines are truly world class, and I don’t use those words lightly.” —Antonio Galloni, Vinous
96 pts. James Suckling:
"Tight, very focused and structured, with forest-floor, cherry, dried-strawberry and spice character. Medium-bodied with a solid core of fruit. Yet, it’s reserved and so focused. Real. Drink or hold." - 5/2023
Dragonette Cellars is definitely one of our personal favorite wineries in the Sta. Rita Hills area. Their winemaking is superb, year after year! The Radian Pinot Noir is a bold and beautiful wine – deeper in fruit than the “Sta. Rita Hills” blend – and although it’s lip-smacking good now, it is a baby; give it more time in the bottle and you’ll be rewarded! – Wine Factor
FROM THE WINERY
We seek to identify exceptional vineyard sites and farming partners in order to source and grow the finest fruit in Santa Barbara. Vineyard blocks are individually managed for appropriate canopy, proper yield, and ideal pick date. We then shepherd this fruit into wine with our own hands. Wines are barreled and aged on their lees until they reach their full potential. The goal is wines of complexity, balance, and textual purity that are also true to both vintage and place.
We bottle single vineyard wines when wines from a particular vineyard express a unique character or sense of “place” and yet are complete wines of balance, harmony and interest.
Radian vineyard is located at the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills on dramatically steep slopes with large amounts of diatomaceous earth. Radian is extreme, regularly blanketed by fog and buffeted by high winds. The vines here struggle to set fruit, and the resulting yields are extremely low, but the grapes highly concentrated. The resulting wines are lean and intense, with a fascinating mineral streak and a remarkable depth of flavor even at low alcohol levels.
2021 was a relatively long, even, and generally cool year. Winter was dry and cold, but rainfall was very low until an atmospheric river arrived in March and dumped 5 inches of rain in two days. This late season rain helped push budbreak back a bit and cleansed the soils. The Spring was generally cool and windy, extending flowering somewhat, but neither frost nor shatter were a problem, and yields were reasonable in the Pinot Noir. June was cool and foggy, while July turned warmer. August was relatively cool, with highs barely reaching the mid-80s for most of the summer. September was cool and sunny, allowing for slow measured ripening. The grapes were picked methodically throughout the cool mornings of late September and early October under ideal conditions with perfect acidity and ripeness. 2021 was a winemaker’s dream vintage.
We harvest each individual lot in the cold early morning hours with rigorous hand sorting for quality. We process the fruit within hours; some is fully destemmed without crushing, some is fermented with a percentage of whole clusters. We cold soak the grapes for 2 to 3 days, then ferment the juice with native yeasts, using a mixture of pumpovers and punchdowns for extraction. At dryness, free run juice is drained to barrel, and the berries gently pressed separately. The wine is aged on its lees for 17 months before selection, blending and bottling.
APPELLATION: Sta. Rita Hills
CLONES: 114, 115, 667, 777
VITICULTURE: Sustainable (SIP Certified) Under-vine cultivation
HARVEST DATES: October 7, 12, 14
YIELD (Tons Per Acre): 2.65 to 3.19 TPA, Average 2.88
FERMENTATION: 1.45 Ton open top fermenters
95% Destemmed, 5% Whole Cluster, 2-3 day cold soak, Native yeasts, Native MLF
COOPERAGE: 100% French Oak (27% new)
AGING: 17 months on the lees
BOTTLED: March 23, 2023
CASES PRODUCED: 500