👨‍🚀 Join Our Wine Club and Become a Winestronaut Today! 👩‍🚀
📡 Two Natural Wines Monthly 🥂 10% Off Everything 💰 Spellbinding Write-Ups 📖 Free Monday Night Flights 🚀

Oct 2018

Satellite Wine Club, October 2018


Scar of the Sea - Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, CA 2016

Guillot Broux - Chardonnay, Macon Villages, Burgundy, FR 2016


Winestronauts,

This is a long time coming, quite literally (I apologize for the delay!) but this is a good one! There is a grape which you must know and which you must respect. It is grape so adaptable we plant it en-masse in practically every wine producing nation in the world. It’s a grape so revered that the best examples eclipse most of the worlds greatest reds in pricing and [debatably] in quality. It’s a grape so flavorful that even the most negligent and obnoxious use of oak and manipulation struggle to shroud it’s typically bright and powerful characteristics. Sure, it’s often over-cropped, over-used, over-hyped, and frankly, abused - even becoming a caricature of itself. Never forget though, dear winestronaut - the best examples of this grape are something truly unforgettable. 


This grape is Chardonnay


Chardo, Chard, Chardo-nay-nay has a long and honored history. Originating in the venerable holy-land of wine, Burgundy: it is the most famous white varietal on the planet, the second most widely planted, and is the most populous vine in California! 


Chardonnay is notorious. From the highest quality, long-lived Burgundian examples; timeless and essential wines which have influenced global winemaking for generations; to the most insanely over-the-top examples (see Rombauer, Carneros Chardonnay… always on special at Satellite… mostly for comedic/educational value), to the thin and uninteresting bargain basement examples which come from the massive wine-ocean of excess juice around the world. There is truly a Chardonnay for everyone and at every price point.. From exceptional to exceptionally bad!


Chardonnay is a sort of do-all. In its leanest and most acidic form it fully comprises all great Blanc de Blanc Champagne (rare exceptions aside), so many more French Crémants, and classically styled sparklers around the world. It creates the elegant, classically lean, and terroir driven styles of Burgundy (and my favorite appellation maybe ever, Jura) where generations have expressed the earth and the environment through excellent farming, thoughtful winemaking, and simply fortunate limestone geology (see this month’s example from Guillot-Broux for that limestone crispness). New wave styles have found Chardonnay’s propensity for high potential sugars and big ripe tropical flavors lack elegance but make it up with power and an ability to match mountains of new oak flavor, intensely malolactic  buttery flavors and aggressive lees stirring (creating that intense bready, yeasty sensation). 


It’s a marvelous grape with personality. It speaks place, vintage, and style so clearly. A perfect loudspeaker for the will of the winemaker. Its primary fruit moves from lean Lemon in the coolest climates to Green then Yellow Apple then off to Pineapple and Peach in the warmest growing zones (Wait till you try 2017 Rombauer…). It carries notes of baking spice, salinity, exotic almond and jasmine. It can be so much and yet it is so often manipulated into oblivion. 


There is simply no other grape so essential, so widely used, so widely revered, and yet so abused and casually reviled. 


This month we share a pair of Chardonnays worth their salt. Two brother-wines, made in a similar style: to represent the place, the agriculture, and the possibilities of cool-climate chardonnay. This month is all about restraint and responsibility with a grape that can take abuse yet deserves anything but! Chardonnay in two flavors, to enchant, to educate, to enjoy. I hope you love them as I do!


--


Scar of the Sea - Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, CA 2016


This is a tale of two Michaels. Mikey Giugni and Michael Brughelli founded the winery is the Scar of the Sea back around 2010. No, they’re not  salty old fishermen, hunting whales for blubber on the open ocean as the name might suggest. They’re actually rad surfer dudes in their thirties, hanging out in the Central Coast. I know Mikey best and along with his fiancé and fellow-winemaker Gina, the two lead a charmed but hard-working life growing and making some of the most exciting liquids in California. 


Mikey doesn’t just make wine, he makes dope-ass hard Apple Cider that blows minds. It is so good and definitely a subject for another wine-club come cider-club edition in the coming years. Mikey is a true oddity. At first glance you think “yo, I wonder if that surfer bro could hook me up with some hidden local surf spots and some weed”... and he probably can… but he can also connect you with some of the best grapes in the Monterey, SLO or SB Counties as well as some of the most honest and elegant wines.


Mikey is all about low-manipulation winemaking. Choosing to bring in the best fruit rather than contort something average. He loves wines of place and, influenced by beloved Burgundy, he seeks vines that pump out an essence of place rather than masking wines with additional winemaking flavors. 



This is the essence of Scar of the Sea:

“With so much emphasis in today’s wine culture on singular elements of winemaking such as alcohol, whole cluster fermentation, or oak regiment; Scar of the Sea strives to shift the pendulum to focus on what is in the glass. The most important part of our wines and cider is where they are grown. Location, climate, and soils matter.  These wines and ciders are crafted with minimal manipulation.  Balance is achieved through working directly with growers at carefully selected vineyard sites, and the wines ultimately show where they are grown. All the vineyards and orchards are influenced by the sea, with maritime soils, and climates, producing wines and ciders that are unique to the Central Coast of California.”


This wine is savage… not like the sense that it’s out there murdering your palate, collecting scalps, and bloodied… but savage in the selvatic sense; raised in the wilds, on vineyards in marginal growing environments where it’s almost always very cold or suddenly hot. Out there where a salty breeze swaddles the grapes on their vine and the dusty hills waft the savory tones of their chaparral herbs and wild flowers onto the stems. This wine is tropically noted, as the long slow growing season allows the development of complex fruity, lemony/pineappley/even orangey flavors. A cloudiness in the glass betrays the clarity of flavors, and is a result of delicate racking off the fie settled lees (rather than stripping through filtration). That same process retains the glorious and inviting body and mouthfeel so classic to this style. A truly crowd pleasing wine, with elements of its home strewn equally through the wine. It is layered, complex, salty and inviting like the central coast shores. It is truly the place that it represents all coalesced into a sexy little central coast chardonnay.


The savage truth:

  • 900 cases produced
  • Sourced from the Santa Maria Valley
    • Rancho Sisquoc Vineyard (Sustainable)
    • Bien Nacido Vineyard (Organic)
      • Block L which is old vine and own rooted, planted in 1973
  • The wine is un-sulfered, and treated oxidatively as juice, they are fermented in neutral French oak 225L barrels
  • No additions are made and the wine is topped up and aged till July
  • No muss, no fuss, no faults - all love and hard work

$36 @ Satellite SB


--


Guillot Broux - Chardonnay, Macon Villages, Burgundy, FR 2016


Domaine Guillot-Broux is a fascination of mine. A small family in Cruzille, a dear village in the heart of Central Burgundy, they’re the type of people who make amazing wines, live an elegant simple life in the vines, and who take 6 months to realize their website is broken. 


These are the type of people raised in, and whose history is akin with he lifestyle so many of us try to achieve today. Founded by Grandparents Pierre and Jenaine Guillot in 1954, Guillot-Broux has been farming purely organically since day one. “Organic in 1954… what?”... “yes, these people are completely hardcore”. Their son, Jean-Gerard, brought a modern approach to winemaking home after years of work in Beaujolais’ Brouilly village, expanding the Domaine to a massive (almost) ONE Hectare (~2.5 acres… Burgundy is small okay?). The family became officially certified organic in 1991, way ahead of the trend.


The estate expanded in the 1990’s and Jean-Gerard’s three sons took over the operations after his death, expanding the estate to a respectable 16 Hectares across the Mâcon Villages of Cruzille, Grevilly, Pierreclos, and CHARDONNAY (yes, there is a village called Chardonnay and you better believe that juice is in that bottle you’re lookin at).


The vines are generally planted on the west side of the villages, with an eastern facing slope which captures the morning sun but cools earlier in the afternoon (where I think, in part, so much of the lean refreshingly acidic profile of the wines come from). The cooler vineyard sites and dense plantings help Winemaker Emmanuel in his goal to reduce the yields and number of bunches per vine dramatically, increasing clarity and intensity.


In comparison with the Scar of the Sea, this wine is leaner and more herbal in tone. Look to compare the brightness of the lemon character and the relative underripe and peppery apple quality rather than a tropical pineapple tone. This wine is from a cooler climate and grown on clay/limestone soils. Even for Mâcon (Which is southern Burgundy and thus relatively warm for the region) it is quite lean and refreshing, largely due to cooler vineyard sites. While refreshingly light the wine harbors a delicate creaminess and lingers with savory, elegant spices. This wine is a savage all the same, just one with a lacy crown of herbs, spices, and delicacy. 


I’m a fan, and I think it’s safe to assume most people will be too! Drink often, always with your best homegrown, organically raised friends.


Some Neat Deets: 

  • 1,100 cases produced
  • Clayey limestone soil
  • Partially purchased fruit from the Guillot-Broux Family’s closest farming relationships
  • 100% organic certified
  • Fermented in neutral oak for 6 months then racked to neutral large oak vats for additional 6 months
  • Natural Yeast Fermentation
  • Low sulphur, added only at bottling

$36 @ Satellite SB


---

A fruit of white

Loves the cold

Loves the light

Unequivocally bright

Often abused, but it’s alright //

Nothing gets it down

Chardonnay has no frown //

So drink up this flight

In this month full of fright

In Chardonnay we delight


This is October at Satellite. 

…………………………………………………………………………….



Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)

Popup

Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now