Sta. Rita Hills
In 2008 a spring frost damaged three of our vineyards in northern Santa Barbara County, and Clos Pepe was hit hard. With every primordial shoot burnt brown by the cold, I couldn’t imagine how we would harvest anything from the vineyard that year. But grape vines are hardy, and with careful attention by Wes Hagen, the vineyard manager, we were able to get a little over one ton to the acre. That pitifully small yield gave us a wine with searing acidity and unusual richness, a fabulous combination that delivered intensity of flavor and liveliness at the same time. This wine has a golden color with a touch of green at the edges, an indicator that it has the potential for a long life ahead. It drinks deliciously now, has hints of nutmeg and lemon, with bready, mineral-ly flavors.
The Clos Pepe Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed, we are using fewer new barrels in the process-to better show off the distinctive Clos Pepe personality. The wine is aged on it’s original lees for 14 months. We handle the wine with care, regularly stirring to complete the malo-lactic fermentation.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Vineyard: Clos Pepe | AVA: Santa Rita Hills | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 8 Months | Total Production: 176 Cases
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2008 Chardonnay Clos Pepe is another of the more generous, richly textured wines in this lineup. It shows gorgeous up-front intensity and a voluptuous personality in its ripe, varietal fruit. The finish is quite intense yet sensual. The spring frost lowered yields dramatically at Clos Pepe to less than one ton per hectare.” – AG 92 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Light, bright gold. Captivating nose combines poached pear, smoky lees, minerals, honey and hazelnut, all lifted by honeysuckle and chamomile notes. Dense, sappy and vibrant, with impressive energy to its orchard fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes long and spicy, with alluring florality and spiciness.” – JR 92 Points