2011 Diatom, Chardonnay “Hanna Shinobu” Sta. Rita Hills.
At 13.8% Alcohol the new “Hanna Shinobu” from Greg Brewer’s Diatom label is notably less heady as past versions of his Diatom wines, which have reached almost 16% at times and seemed rather severe, but this one really finds a nice balance. Brewer’s brave experiment in Chardonnay is impressive to taste and one can only admire his focus and commitment even if these wines are not to everyone’s taste, these pure no wood, no batonage Chardonnay’s are the ultimate extreme experience of terroir essence and a stark view of the naked grape itself. The new 2011 Diatom “Hanna Shinobu” is clear and vivid with tart green apple, lime and grapefruit zest with plenty of brisk acidity and steely minerality. The Hanna Shinobu opens with air to reveal lemon and fig notes, but stays edgy and feels razor sharp and vibrant. Best to enjoy this wine with soft cheeses and lighter seafoods plus raw Sushi grade yellow tail. Greg Brewer (Brewer-Clifton & Melville) has chosen a new path and created a new vision of Chardonnay that certainly challenges convention and is neither Burgundy/Chablis like or anything like California norms, making for an interesting choice and unique style wine that try to capture the true heart of the vineyard, a worth a try if you want something on the wild side.
($42 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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