The winter release completes the wines from the 2011 quintet, with the addition of Miya.
As always, I sincerely thank you for all of your support over these past seven years and especially for all of you who displayed such confidence and understanding last year when I made this very sincere, albeit esoteric transition. 2011 was another long and very cool growing season which resulted in wines of incredible purity and intensity.
Wines produced in this style often carry small amounts
of dissolved CO2 gas in solution. This is a result of their very cold
execution and careful processing in the cellar. The fine bubbles will
dissipate within a few moments of pouring and are simply a sign of the
wine’s minimal handling.
Diatom wines are finished with a wax seal. For opening
instructions, click here.
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“These minimalist tank fermented Chardonnays
are brilliant achievements from wunderkind Greg Brewer. No one else in
California is doing anything remotely like what he has achieved with
diatom.” Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
840 bottles produced
15.3% alcohol $42
The final release from the 2011 harvest quintet is without question the most relevant and representative of the philosophy and spirit behind diatom. From the respected pedigree of this specific vineyard to the gorgeous kanji on the label, I have never felt more confidant about a single wine within this project as it reflects everything I could ever seek to display.
My dear friend, Miya Ando, is a steel artist whose study of subtle gradient differentiation in her work has greatly informed and inspired my own. Whereas her medium involves solvent and fire, mine explores the juxtaposition of alcohol and acid. We both work with different elements however in concert we are sharing the same truths about those issues involving balance and tension which drive virtually every aspect of my approach to winegrowing. I regularly fix my focus and attention on her artwork in both the winery and my home, modestly hopeful to recreate a similar level of calm intensity and refuge in each bottling that we release.
The 2011 Miya hails from one of the oldest plantings in the appellation with which I have worked for the past two decades of my career. It is both the smallest volume that I have ever produced and also the most important under the diatom label.
Pale yellow. Brisk orange and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by pungent herbs and quinine. Taut, spicy and dry, with a chewy quality to the orange pith and pear flavors. Mounting spiciness lends cut to the impressively long, spicy, powerful finish. This is the most structured wine of this group, and the one I would hide in the cellar. 93 pts.
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar
1,200 bottles produced
14.8% alcohol $36
Kodo means the soulful heartbeat or drum like pulse within us. There is a rhythmic and sonorous nature to the term which is appropriate for this parcel nestled within the hills and somewhat protected from the ravages of the severe wind forces of our appellation. The chardonnay clone planted here in sandy clay loam soil also demonstrates power and richness reminiscent to me of a Japanese taiko drum adding further reasoning and rationale behind this site’s nomenclature.
Aromas of earth, match stick and blood orange set the tone for flavors of clove, orange skin and earthy flavors in the mouth. Quite rich and plush on the palate with incredible volume and persistence.
2,280 bottles produced
15.8% alcohol $42
Kazaoto is a reference to the turbulent nature of wind noise. The intimate geographic relationship between our appellation and the ocean results in afternoon growing conditions consistently marked by pronounced winds. This scenario is exaggerated in this particular vineyard where the deafening voice of the sea not only stresses and toughens the vines, but also the crew who tirelessly endures its relentless and frequently severe impact. The soil is pure sand which further transmits the crystalline clarity and sincerity of chardonnay grown in what is for me the most intriguing site for this grape in the Sta. Rita Hills.
Chalk, smoke, mint and lemon bar aromatics explode out of the glass followed by flavors of lime skin, agave and minerals. On the palate the wine is incisive, gripping and dry with an incredible lingering saline impression.
2,760 bottles produced
16.3% alcohol $42
Hamon makes reference to the ripple which results from dropping a pebble into a still body of water such as a quiet stream or pond. It also means clouds or smoke and is a term used to describe the cloud-like pattern shown on samurai swords where the metal tone changes as a result of the metal forging technique and frequently also of the specific time in history when the blade was created.
This parcel is significantly impacted by the fog and is a selection of chardonnay which has historically exhibited a rich curvature which has consistently been reminiscent of both the power and transitory nature of waves.
Explosive aromatics marked by honeysuckle, papaya and pineapple followed by mandarin orange (unshu mikan) and other ripe citrus flavors. Very dense and expansive on the palate with tremendous drive and persistence on the finish.
2011 Hana Shinobu
3,000 bottles produced
13.8% alcohol $36
Hana means flower and shinobu in this context means to memorialize and poignantly reflect upon a loved one or somebody important in one’s life and history. There is both delicacy and tenderness implicit in this kanji which sincerely expresses compassion. Hana Shinobu is also the technical name for the flower of Nishiwaki City in Hyogo, Japan where Taka and Miyoko were born and where they later met in junior high school. The parcel on which these grapes are grown has been handed down for generations of farmers within prominent Lompoc farming families. I feel both privileged and humbled to share their land for the creation of this bottling.
Intense aromatics of lemongrass, papaya and white blossom followed by flavors of minerals, rain water and lychee. While the palate impression is initially quite concise and compact, the finish yields an unexpected creaminess.
methods and philosophy may seem extreme, but then so are his results.
Like haiku that encapsulate in simple phrases whole
ranges of feeling, these wines in their purity achieve an eerie transcendence
that enables one to imagine that one is not tasting Chardonnay at all,
but wind, soil, light.” Brett Anderson, Robb Report
“The other night I opened a bottle of wine that I couldn’t
stop thinking about. It’s a wine startling for its purity and for
its size. I find Brewer to be one of the most thoughtful and honest winemakers
around.” Eric Asimov, New York Times