- Producer: Dragonette Cellars
- Winemakers: John Dragonette, Steve Dragonette, & Brandon Sparks-Gillis
- Region (AVA): Santa Ynez Valley (Sta. Rita Hills)
- Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
- Vintage production: 550 cases
- Winery location: Buelton
- Owners: John Dragonette, Steve Dragonette, & Brandon Sparks-Gillis
- First vintage: 2009
- Drinking window: 2020-2028+
About The Wine
Located at the extreme western edge of northern Santa Barbara County, the cool, foggy, windswept Sta. Rita Hills appellation has rapidly become known world-wide for producing profound Pinot Noir. Dragonette use several distinctive vineyard sites in diverse soils and microclimates and then farm them with exacting detail to obtain only the highest quality fruit. With exceptional fruit, we then strive to create Pinot Noirs characterized by aromatic and flavor complexity, textural purity and impeccable balance by gently fermenting the grapes in tiny lots. This wine is a selection of individual barrels, each intended to add complexity to the final blend.
Bentrock: Remote and mountainous, cold winds and dense fog, wines with concentrated red fruits and minerals. SIP certified sustainable farming.
Radian: Dramatic north facing slope, cold, windy conditions give concentration and herbs.
Sanford & Benedict: Historic old vines in magical site that buzzes with cosmic energy. Organic farming. Wines with classic sappy red and black cherry fruits.
Fiddlestix: Shale, sandy and clay loam soils with a good amount of chert. Wines are deep, rich, high-pitched, spicy, and complex.
La Rinconada: Mt. Eden clone. Rocky slope. Pretty, middle weight fruit, soft tannins.
Spear: Steep slopes of sandy loam. Heritage clone (Swan). Red fruited wines with fresh herb notes.
John Sebastiano: South facing slopes of sandy loam. Wines are fruit-dominated, lush and round.
Duvarita: Tiny yields. Fresh, elegant, savory wines with herbs.
Individual lots are harvested in the cold early morning hours, with rigorous hand sorting for quality. Some is fully destemmed without crushing, some is fermented with a percentage of whole clusters. The grapes are cold-soaked for 2 to 3 days, then the juice is fermented 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 before selection and blending. Bottled without fining or filtration.
2019 was a classic cool-climate year. A wet and cold winter cleansed vineyard soils and provided a good profile of soil moisture. A cool Spring helped delay budbreak until late March and to control the vigour. Cool weather and windy conditions around bloom resulted in an extended flowering, but there was a decent sized if uneven crop set in Pinot Noir. June was warm, but July and early August were generally cooler allowing maturity without excess heat. Late August introduced significant heat, quickening the ripening of the Pinot Noir. The very small crop at Duvarita showed solid ripeness, but also terrific acidity for the site.
Dragonette Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2019
"Pale ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir has bright cranberry and citrus aromas with nuances of tea leaves, saline, woodsmoke and dried earth. The light-bodied palate has supple, saline-laced raspberry and strawberry flavors with juicy acidity and a long, perfumed finish."
94 points, Erin Brooks (The Wine Advocate, Mar. 2022)