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2018 Diatom (Brewer-Clifton) "Katherine's" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40) SKU #1511201

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JD 95 RP 94 VN 94
WE 91
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Diatom is a small project from legendary winemaker, Greg Brewer. These wines focus on single site Chardonnays from across Santa Barbara County mostly focused on sites with largely diatomaceous based soils. These ocean derived soils produce wines with a distinctive mineral quality and Greg's winemaking uses very little oak and minimal intervention so nothing masks the vineyard's true sense of place. Katherine's comes from a very special block of vines that is now 50 years old! The vines are own rooted and produce Chardonnay of immense power and minerality. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L Domestic Wine Buyer)

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Staff Reviews

  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    12/8/2020
    K&L Staff Member
    First and foremost this is an absolutely delicious and eminently drinkable bottle of wine. Anyone who follows my staff reviews will know that "quaffability" is very high on my list of admirable qualities. However, if you manage to pause long enough to really savory this wine (and I tried very hard to for the purposes of this review) you will find a wine of depth and complexity with a core of undeniable minerality. The wine has a beautiful floral component, apple blossom and honeysuckle lead into flavors of poached pear, golden quince, and salt preserved lemon. A powerful, oceanic quality of sea spray and oyster shell pervades the wine and adds lovely complexity and umami character. The mouth feel is also very interesting as the wine is at once racy and zesty with plenty of verve but also has a a sense of natural density and extract perhaps owing to the vines that are 50 years old and growing on their own roots. Greg Brewer has once again subtly crafted a wine that perfectly represents this historic, cool-climate site in Santa Maria Valley and gives us a bottle of uniquely California Chardonnnay that we can feel very proud of.

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