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The Mae vineyard is Tyler's first estate vineyard. It is on this site that the winery will make the majority of its wines from. This wine honors the site to its fullest capabilities, with minimal intervention in the cellar. This is a racy white wine that was raised in oak barrels to allow the wine to take on a bit more of a classic California appeal. This wine certainly lives up to the hype that has recently surrounded this estate.
A son of Santa Barbara, Justin Tyler Willett began Tyler in 2005 at the age of 24 with a few barrels tucked away in the corner of the Sta. Rita Hills cellar he was working in at the time. It was there, as the assistant winemaker, he honed his approach to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Justin – a champion of old vines – has since engaged the famed historic vineyards of Santa Barbara, including the region-defining Sanford & Benedict, in the Santa Rita Hills. Great effort has been made to seek out vineyards of pedigree and establish close collaboration with those growers. With a firm belief that winemaking starts in the vineyard and the sincere desire to have minimal impact on the environment, grapes are farmed organically, handpicked at night, and sorted by hand at the winery. In the cellar, all lots are fermented using native yeast in large oak vats, and once dry the wines are put down to barrel for their elevage.
Aging: 10 Months in 20% New French Oak Barrels
Tasting Notes: 100% Chardonnay. This wine dazzles with a light bright yellow color in the glass. On the nose, there is plenty of ripe orchard fruit and just a touch of citrus zest. The mouthfeel of this wine is extremely generous the bright acidity gives it a much-needed backbone structuring the wine perfectly.
The 2019 Chardonnay Mae Estate Vineyard is a bright, effusive wine endowed with striking translucence and energy. Lemon peel white flowers, white pepper and mint open first. This is an especially airy, gracious Chardonnay. Time in the glass brings out striking textural richness to play all of those bright, high-toned notes. A mesmerizing wine of dimension and phenolic intensity, the 2019 is captivating from the get go. The way it changes in the glass bodes very well for the future. ~95 Antonio Galloni
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