Tatomer - Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Gruner Veltliner 2021 750ml (13.5% ABV)

Tatomer - Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Gruner Veltliner 2021 750ml (13.5% ABV)

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Graham Tatomer’s devotion to California Riesling, and Grüner in turn, began with the founding of his winery in 2008, though he first engaged with the variety long before. A gig at Santa Barbara Winery, which began in high school, introduced Graham to the Lafond Winery and its vineyard, home to among the oldest Riesling plantings in the region.

Graham went to the Wachau, in Austria, and found mentorship – and a second family – among the Knolls. His relationship with the younger Emmerich Knoll, just a few year’s Graham’s senior, unfolded as a series of lessons. A harvest internship in 2003 was the beginning of a four year engagement with Weingut Knoll and the Wachau at large, balanced with time in Santa Barbara working alongside Adam Tolmach, of Ojai Vineyard. This investment continues to pay in dividends. Aside from the immediately utilizable lessons about Riesling and Grüner, Graham gleaned subtleties in the Knolls’ work that has proven essential as his solo endeavor has flourished.

Today, Graham makes wines of a clear Austrian pedigree – they are haltingly alluring in their presentation of power, precision, and detail – but their tenor is wholly idiosyncratic: they belong to the soils and climes of Santa Barbara. What’s more, he enjoys the region’s favored varieties, too, and can stand alongside the best of his peers in producing tensile, delicate Pinot Noir – in minute quantities.

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This is one of three small picks off of the John Sebastiano vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It represents the best of the best.  Grown on steep slopes 800 feet above sea level, this wine has extreme cut and verve.  It is the first of my Grüner Veltliners to receive extended aging in the winery and is well worth the wait.  A wine for Sommeliers and Foodies alike.

– Sta. Rita Hills AVA, 1000 feet above sea level
– Largely composed of Arnold Sandy Loam
– But within the 2 acres of Gruner, this bottling is sourced from only the 5 best rows (!) sit on diatomaceous earth
– These 5 rows are picked and vinified separately; since 2015 have been bottled vineyard-designate
– Fermented in stainless; aged 6 months in stainless, 6 months in old Acacia
– blocked ML; < 1g/L RS; bottled-aged for 9 months

97 pts Vinous

a wine of real class and distinction - tightly wound, give this some air to really show its complexity - aromatic and deep, lime blossom, grapefruit pith, lime-peel, green-melon, textural - perhaps the New World's top Gruner to date?

region: Santa Barbara County, CA, USA

varietal: Gruner Veltliner

style: white