Stars & Dust: up-and-coming Santa Barbera Winery!

The recent project of Nikki Pallesen started in 2020, this is a terrific winery well worth following. The wines are magnificent, capturing purity, finesse, and elegance. You can find their wines by ordering direct online from their website: www.starsanddustwines.com

2020 Stars & Dust, Rose of Grenache, Ballard Canyon, Tierra Alta Vineyard (RT91) Small, handmade production, 80 cases of this Grenache Rose are all that was produced in this vintage. Closed with a “Diam 5” cork. Copper tinged, pale rose hue, this is florally lifted, classic grenache with notes of white peach, tangerine, citrus blossom, and marmalade. Delivers a lovely, lifted palate is well balanced and delivers fresh, bright fruit and refreshing acidity. A charismatic sipper! Drink now-2024     

2020 Stars & Dust, Rose of Mourvèdre, Los Olivos District, Koerskov Vineyard (RT91+) Another handcrafted bottling from Nikki Pallesen, a mere 100 cases total production of this delicious rose! Pale rose/copper hue with a hint of terracotta pink, the bouquet is florally driven revealing notes of orange zest, white peach, rhubarb, and citrus blossom. The palate is light, dry, elegantly savory and almost weightless. Along with its sister Grenache, this is a tasty warm weather refresher that embraces more about Provence style rose than a typical Santa Barbera one. Drink now-2024

2020 Stars & Dust, Chardonnay Old Vines, Santa Rita Hills, Hilltop Vineyard (RT93) 100 cases produced crafted from 47-year-old vines. As stated on their website, the grapes for this wine are 100% handpicked, harvested in the middle of the night, and aged for 10 months in 20% new Damy French oak with the remainder in neutral barrel. The result is fabulous revealing zero new oak in the aromatic profile, but with just enough textural lift to make it highly attractive. Shows a beautiful, deep light golden hue, this Burgundy reminisce wafts alluring notes of white peach, crème fraiche, smokey chalk dust and hints of lightly roasted almonds. The mouthfeel is elegant as it stands nearly weightless, hovering on the palate with masterfully integrated toast-free oak. The acid is fresh and invigorating, the balance wonderful! This is a fabulous effort from Nikki Pallesen, bravo! Drink now-2028+

2020 Stars & Dust, Chardonnay Old Vines, Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard (RT94) A bit smaller in production than the Hilltop Vineyard bottling with just 80 cases made harvest from 48-year-old vines. From their website “100% handpicked vineyard designate old vine Chardonnay, picked in the middle of the night, aged 10 months in 25% new Damy French oak with the remainder in neutral barrel”. This attention to detail shows as it reveals a paler hue than the Hilltop bottling, the Bien Nacido is a bit more shy and less expressive initially, but with time in the glass reveals a more focused, higher toned aromatic profile showing notes of green honey dew, Asian pear, citrus blossom, and a touch of crème brulee which lead to a stylish, refined, and weightless mouth feel. An overall gorgeous textural presentation with succulent fruit, fresh zesty acidity, and a super clean finish. This is a really wonderful expression of Chardonnay from the legendary Bien Nacido vineyard. Drink now-2032+     

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