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2010 diatom Chardonnays


Diatom is a project of Greg Brewer who also works at Brewer-Clifton and Melville.  Named after the diatomite soils found in the Santa Rita Hills this project was started in 2005.  The philosophy is to remove all external influences so as to produce a wine that is true to the specific grapes harvested.  Fermentation takes place in very cold neutral vessels and malolactic fermentation is inhibited.  The wine is aged on its lees.

When it comes to red wines, I shy away from the big, rich, oaky wines.  But with white wines, I rather enjoy the big, buttery California Chardonnays.  I typically drink just one glass of white wine at a time so I never get a chance to be fatigued by the wine.  It was with great curiosity that I tried these two wines which are at the extreme opposite of big and buttery.  I did not like them.  I tried them over three days and at both cold and warm temperatures.  They both barely budged in development.  I preferred the Hana Shinobu over the Miya but certainly not at these prices.  Perhaps I would enjoy the Clos Pepe or Huber.  Trying these wines left me wanting to drink a 2009 German Riesling such as the Schafer Frohlich, Bockenauer Felseneck Spatlese for $30.

I purchased these wines from MacArthur’s.  The Miya cost roughly $46 and the Hana Shinobu was $34.

2010 diatom, Miya, Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills
There were 2,760 bottles of this 13.5% Abv wine produced. This wine is a rather light, straw color.  There light nose reveals grapey, floral aromas.  In the mouth this steely wine has some mineral, tart fruit and piercing citrus-like acidity.  There is some mid-palate complexity. * Now.

2010 diatom, Hana Shinobu, Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills
There were 900 bottles of this 12.7% Abv wine produced.  The vineyards are younger.  This wine has a light, fresh nose of stones and flowers.  Again there is piercing acidity, tart flavors before it puts on midpalate weight.  Flint flavors develop with the longish finish.  ** Now-2015.

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