Robert Parker 99
The 2019 White Wine Distenta 1 is a stunning—and unique—blend of 41% Roussanne, 26% Chardonnay, 14% Petit Manseng, 12% Viognier and 7% Gelber Muskateller. Fruit comes mostly from estate vineyards, with 46% from Eleven Confessions, 32% from Cumulus and 7% from The Third Twin. Just 15% Chardonnay from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley is included-—2019 is the last vintage that any non-estate fruit will be included in the blend. It was fermented in barrel and matured on its lees for about 23 months in 64% new French oak barrels, puncheons and demi-muids and was racked just once prior to bottling. Manfred Krankl especially likes the 150+-year-old wood that the Austrian cooper Stockinger uses to craft its staves. The 2019 white offers high intensity aromatics, with layers of peach, kiwi, candle smoke, petrol and green herbs. The full-bodied palate is concentrated, savory and layered, with loads of alluring, spicy accents. What really sets this wine apart is its broad, satiny texture as it glides through the mouth into a tremendously long finish. Krankl notes that the lees-stirring regimen for this wine helps to build texture, and the buildup of lees on the inside of the barrels better integrates its new oak character. “Petite Manseng berries are very small and the skins are very thick,” he adds, “so that also contributes to the texture.” It was bottled on August 18, 2021, and tasted May 24, 2022. 824 cases and 150 magnums will be released in November of 2022.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2034
Jeb Dunnuck 100
Starting with the white, the 2019 Distenta I White is pure perfection, and there’s not a finer white coming out of California today. Coming from a final blend of 41% Roussanne, 26% Chardonnay, 14% Petit Manseng, 12% Viognier, and the rest Gelber Muskateller, it spent 23 months in 64% new French oak. It offers a heavenly bouquet of caramelized oranges, toasted bread, honeyed citrus, and almond paste. This carries to a full-bodied, deep, concentrated white with incredible intensity and depth, yet it’s never heavy or overbearing and is flawlessly balanced. These have a great track record of aging brilliantly, but you can’t go wrong drinking them in their youth, either. I know Krankl’s reds get all the attention, but he continues to produce brilliant, brilliant dry whites. There were 824 cases produced.