- Producer: Dragonette Cellars
- Winemakers: John Dragonette, Steve Dragonette, & Brandon Sparks-Gillis
- Region (AVA): Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara County)
- Blend: 100% Chardonnay
- Vintage production: 145 cases
- Winery location: Buelton
- Owners: John Dragonette, Steve Dragonette, & Brandon Sparks-Gillis
- First vintage: 2015
- Drinking window: 2020-2028+
About The Wine
The Dragonette Team strives to create Chardonnays of textural purity, complexity and balance with classic tension. Complexity and balance are achieved by meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard, where each vineyard block is managed for appropriate canopy and proper yields.
Duvarita vineyard is located in Santa Barbara County, west of the Sta. Rita Hills. The vineyard lies on gentle, south-facing slopes of almost pure sand, and is certified biodynamic by Demeter. The low vigour soils, small canopy and a low fruit zone combine to make this one of the earliest ripening vineyards. The Chardonnay blocks provide a small, consistent crop, notable for its impeccable balance between expressive stone fruits, melons and bright but round acidity.
Individual blocks are picked in separate passes with field sorting. Within hours, the grapes are gently pressed, the juice settled, then put down to barrels for primary fermentation, which takes place with native yeasts. The wine sees native malolactic fermentation and was aged on its lees in French oak barrels, one third new, for a total of 16 months.
2018 saw a return to the weather of the cooler years such as 2010/2011. Winter rains and a cool early spring helped delay budbreak, while providing for a good soil water profile. Weather was good during set, allowing for reasonable, though not excessive, yields. A warm early summer promoted ripeness, but in late August the weather turned quite cool, with only moderate daytime highs, lots of clouds and cold nights. The grapes, generally, moved very slowly toward full ripeness, which occurred in September. Grapes had excellent flavours at lower sugars and with plenty of energetic acid and good freshness.
Dragonette Duvarita Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
"The 2018 Chardonnay Duvarita Vineyard comes from a cooler site located outside the boundary of the Sta. Rita Hills. It was brought up in one-third new French oak and saw plenty of lees contact. This medium gold effort offers a complex bouquet of ripe stone fruits, sappy herbs, salty minerality, and ample spice. With beautifully integrated oak, medium to full body, outstanding balance, and a great finish, it's going to evolve for a solid 7-8 years, if not longer."
94 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Apr. 2020)