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92pts Jeb Dunnuck
Radian Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
I have felt for some time now that Block 31 at Radian is the best block of Chardonnay in all of Santa Barbara County. This wine serves only to solidify this view. It’s California fruit bomb meets European minerality and acidity, all spun together seamlessly by what the French would call, a full “elevage”.
When you work with this kind of fruit you can actually barrel ferment the juice in a big chunk of new Oak, go through malolactic, and then patiently infuse a creaminess from nine months of contact with the yeast sediments (lees) lying on the bottoms of the barrels. If you have a wine making team that is skilled enough to capture it all in the bottle without filtration, then all the layers are preserved, and the greatness of the vineyard can spring right out of the glass and into you nose. I could go on and on trying to describe all that I can pick out of a wine like this. Suffice it to say, this one is simply beautiful.