Racines (Northern California only), 2018 Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay, Bentrock Vineyard
Vineyard & soil type: Santa Lucia shaly clay loam. From two parcels in the quickly becoming famous planting on the western end of Santa Rosa Road. Both in north facing exposures where the first lies at the highest point in the vineyard looking out over Sta Rita Hills on very rocky soils. This is an extremely exposed and windy perch. The second plot is found at a lower elevation and possesses more topsoil, sitting just to the east and protected by the from the wind by the previously described hill.
Production & aging: Native yeast barrel fermented and aged in 350-500L puncheons for 12 months using 20% new oak with 6 months in stainless steel vat before bottling.
Lemon peel, white flowers, white pepper, mint and crushed rocks all grace the
2018 Chardonnay Bentrock Vineyard. Like all of the Racines Chardonnays, the
Bentrock is taut, but the personality of the site seems very well suited to this
style. It will be interesting to see if a bit more flesh develops in bottle, as that is
really the only thing that is slightly missing here. A whole range of bright, saline
notes are a reminder that we are on the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills
appellation. 92 pts
— Antonio Galloni, VINOUS