2018 Rhone-Styled White Blend
92pts Wine Enthusiast
"The 2018 Galvanized Synergy is an unusual blend of Clairette and Grenache Blanc. Orchard fruit, jasmine and mint are nicely complemented by an perfumed floral quality that gives the wine its distinctive, exotic personality."
- Antonio Galloni
This 2018 Galvanized Synergy is a subtle blend of two white Rhone varieties, Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Due to the rarity of Clairette, this is no doubt the only blend of its kind at the moment in the new world. Even among French producers who choose to bottle authentic blends of all of the whites on the classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape list (Clairette, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Picardan, Picpoul, and Roussanne) a blend of just these two particular grapes would be a rare find.
I have been working with Grenache Blanc for a few years now, and I love its varietal expression. The Clairette is coming out of two vineyards. One, the Martian Vineyard, known for growing some of these new, as-of-yet undiscovered, varieties in a biodynamic farming system, over on Alisos Canyon Road, outside of Los Alamos. My other source is the new Santa Ynez Vineyard, which also seems to have a bit of everything, and is the most easterly vineyard in Happy Canyon. In 2018 my Clairette cuvees finished with beautiful minerally textures that prompted me to marry them with the more aromatic fruit in my Grenache Blanc. Currently this new genre blend is a joy to drink.
The beautifully subtle flavors and mouthfeel are unlike anything that I have ever quite experienced from California. The aromas are of green fruits including Asian pear, greengage plum, and a bit of white peach. There is also a nice baked quality to it, no doubt having been imparted by the by 20% new French Oak. A good sipper on its own, you can still pair it with Chicken Satay, Chinese 5-Spice Sea Bass, Tempura Shrimp, Moroccan Tagine vegetables, Pork Chops; you get the picture.
This fall, 2019, I will be receiving my first-ever Picpoul. French versions of this exciting variety tend to have very distinctive, nervy fruit, with ample acidity. My guess is that Picpoul will provide with me with yet another aromatic entity with which to build the next provocative synergy of flavors from white Rhone varieties. So, enjoy this one and stay tuned.
Vinification: 100% barrel and malolactic fermentation. Six months sur lie, sans battonage. 20% new Fouailly French oak, delicate toast.
Santa Barbara County