2019 Odonata, Sangiovese, Machado Creek Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley.
The rounded, fruit dense and juicy 2019 Machado Creek gets more and more interesting with air and time in the glass, this deeply hued garnet wine unveils a rich vein of black cherry, plum, red currant and blackberry fruit, as well as an underlying sense of Umami, with tobacco leaf, mountain sage, minty anise and loamy earth providing nice accents to this full bodied effort. Odonata has released a terrific set of new wines, this one included, and I’m always intrigued to see what they have on offer. Owner/winemaker Denis Hoey, who as well as being a skilled winemaker, is one of the most real and nicest people you could meet, in this business, a quality that even makes his wines taste even better. Using traditional methods in the cellar and sustainable farming, Hoey’s Odonata has really made a name for itself with a tasty array of eclectic and standard small lot bottlings, from Riesling bubbly to classic Pinot Noir, with this SLH Syrah being one of my favorites. as well as his Sangiovese based wines and even a 100% Malbec. The wines have a tasty raw character and a purity of fruit that is compelling, especially for those that appreciate old world wines, like this one, which is on par with many Rosso di Montalcino wines.

The winemaking here, for the Machado Creek Sangiovese, included gentle daily punch-downs during an extended cold soak, with fermentation and maceration lasting for about 14 days, after which the must was pressed and the wine racked to barrel. All the grapes were 100% de-stemmed for this one and the wine, uniquely was matured in all Hungarian oak puncheons from Trust Cooperage, which Hoey thinks gives his Sangiovese a more authentic character and used just about 15% new wood, to promote transparency and less obvious toasty oak flavoring here, which I think worked out well. This wine, like its cousins in Tuscany, enjoys a firm tannin structure, ripe fruit, with this vintage coming at 14.5% and good natural acidity, making it much better with food, it certainly will enjoy some robust cuisine, which will bring out its best qualities. Odonata Wines, as mentioned, was founded in Santa Cruz back in 2005, but became a full fledged estate winery in 2014 when they moved into the old Marilyn Remark Winery property in the Santa Lucia Highlands on River Road, which is one of the best places to visit on the SLH wine trail. I always gravitate to Denis’s Grenache and Syrah, but I also love his Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings, these Sangioveses, and the recent releases of Pinot Noir, especially his 2021 Escolle Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands version, which is drinking fabulously well. These are all wines I recommend checking out, as soon as possible.
($32 ESt.) 92 Points, grapelive

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