2016 Arnot Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay
Here are three of the most dramatic wines being made in California. And I mean that.
The wines are from Arnot Roberts, the dynamic duo that won the coveted Winemaker of the Year award from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2012.
The first is their North Coast Syrah. This wine is a blend of their entire Syrah production (which is about three barrels each from the vineyards of La Cruz, Clary Ranch, Alder Springs and Griffin’s Lair). At 11% alcohol and 100% whole cluster fermentation, it has always been tight, racy and incredibly linear, with an explosive nose of black pepper, black cherries, cloves, menthol and leather. The palate is sleek with tannin and acidity, making it a gorgeous wine. It is both intellectually and hedonistically delicious.
The second wine is their Watson Ranch Chardonnay.
The Watson Ranch vineyard is perched on a steep hillside overlooking San Pablo Bay in the southernmost end of Napa Valley. Exposed and austere, Watson Ranch is a wind-whipped site planted in 1993 by the talented grower Salvador Ramos on marine deposits over limestone. This soil type is extremely rare on the North Coast and lends itself perfectly to growing world-class Chardonnay. This soil, coupled with organic farming techniques and cool windy conditions, give this parcel great potential to produce Chardonnay of singular character.
Finally, the Old Vine White.
After seven years away from us, we’ve finally secured a very small allocation of Old Vine White. It’s finally back, and it’s amazing! Vibrant aromas of pear, lime salt, agave, white flowers and quince engage a palate that’s fresh and stony, , but clinging to a last hint of orchard fruits. Zero fat. Pure clarity. It’s one of the most amazing oddball blends I’ve ever had when paired with Asian food.