Diatom Chardonnay Bar M Vineyard
Diatom Chardonnay Bar M Vineyard Sourced from the stunning contiguous blocks of clone 76 Chardonnay planted over 20 years ago in the Los Alamos region of Santa Barbara County. Los Alamos is a magnificent and relatively unknown region whose sandy loam soil lends itself to fruit with a bit more flesh and weight – perfectly suited to the diatom model.
Like a pent up wave just about to break, rich and luxurious fruit harnessed in by bracing acidity and precision. Lemon, citrus blossom, and wet sand on the nose. Precise and balanced textures. Impeccably clean, focused and transportive to the maritime landscape from which the wine emerges. Saline, white peach flavors.
Jeb Dunnuck (95/100)
All clone 4 from a site just beside Bien Nacido, the 2018 Chardonnay Katherine’s has an Alsatian slant in its green citrus, tangerine, white flower, and honeysuckle aromas and flavors. With beautiful purity, plenty of minerality, medium to full body, and a crisp, layered style, this gorgeous Chardonnay does everything right. Enjoy it any time over the coming 7-8 years.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (94/100)
The 2018 Chardonnay comes from clone four, self-rooted vines that are 49 years old. It has a wonderfully open, perfumed nose of ripe quince, peaches and apricot, sweet hay, dried chamomile, orange blossom, spring honey and toasted almonds plus hints of crushed shell, lime peel and saline. The light to medium-bodied palate offers intense, seriously minerally flavor layers with great supporting texture and juicy acidity, finishing long, layered and energetic. Around 500 cases were made.
diatom specializes in only one variety—Chardonnay— and is motivated by the pursuit of subtraction and refinement. Fermented at low temperatures in small stainless-steel tanks, coupled with inhibited malolactic fermentation and short hose transportation, diatom intends to capture Chardonnay in its most raw, carnal state. Winemaker Greg Brewer strives to imbue recognition of place with as little disturbance, distraction or interference as possible. The resulting wines have a sense of transparency and a purity of intent and purpose.
“The name diatom is inspired by the fossilized plankton (diatomaceous earth) which is replete in our appellation and is mined in Lompoc. Just as the pursuit is the ultimate in purity of Chardonnay expression, the name itself needed to also be deliberate, certain and true.” – Winemaker, Greg Brewer
A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.