2016 as a vintage, is extraordinarily pretty, balanced, and delicious. It has been a while since I liked a vintage so uniformly through the wines, and at such a high level. While the wines are still definitely primary and somewhat bound up, they are also simply delicious anyway. With a little air these wines become quite compelling aromatically, as well as weightless and juicy, with a nice astringency from very fine tannins. Whistling Ridge is textbook, Durant is generous, vibrant, and almost electric in it’s purity. The Fir Crest is easily my favorite version of that vineyard.
The Heritage wines: #7 from Whistling Ridge is a complete wine, reminiscent at times of Piemontese wines. Layered dusty red fruits, fresh kitchen herbs, tea notes. Drink now? Sure, wtf. Hold for two decades…sure, wtf. Take your pick. The #8 from Durant vineyard is simply a great wine, especially if one has the willpower to taste it over 3-4 days.
The 2016 Chardonnays are clean, complex, elegant, and world class. The Durant is a tranquil bath of yellow gold fruits, leaning into subtle touches of subois, and clean, creamy acidity. The Richard’s is all negative space, quiet authority, dense yet not. “Latent” is the best descriptor I can come up with, yet I seem to keep finishing bottles off…. Best in 4-5, I still would recommend opening one in the near term.