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2021 Status Crow


2021 Status Crow
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/ 750 ml

93 points - Wine Enthusiast
92 points - Vinous

"Generous aromas of baked berry and plum are dusted in hefty baking spice and pie crust elements on the nose of this wine. The palate picks up hints of savory meat and nutmeg, but rich, plummy fruits remain the centerpiece." – Matt Kettmann 

"The 2021 Status Crow is soft, fruity and delicious, all of which make it a fine choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Succulent red cherry fruit, blood orange, spice and cedar give this exuberant Carignan tons of nuance. Most of this fruit is from the Santa Ynez Vineyard in Happy Canyon." – Antonio Galloni 

The 2020 vintage of Status Crow was our first ever Carignan bottled as a single varietal. Along with simply making a great wine, the whole idea behind Status Crow was to represent the new propensity for great red wines coming out of Santa Barbara County. In effect, this new status quo is that Santa Barbara County is now making the biggest, single impact on the American food and wine scene. What better grape to represent this with than Carignan?

Carignan is historically considered a very challenging - if not inferior - grape to work with. This 2021 proves, once again, that not only can great Carignan be produced, but that it can be produced incredibly well in Santa Barbara County. This bottling was sourced primarily from the Santa Ynez Vineyard, where we are so blessed to be working with such a great vineyard and farming team. Their management allows me to go on site and work with them side by side, and do some seemingly crazy things together to make great wines.

The main obstacle with Carignan is that it is very yield sensitive, meaning it cannot be left unattended to grow its crop in excess. If one wants to make great Carignan, I have found that it’s necessary to pull out one’s clippers as early as possible in the Spring, and drop half of the crop to the ground. While big yields may seem great in theory, especially to the grower, leaving too much fruit on Carignan can be a disaster. Basically, Carignan does not ripen its crop if it’s too weighed down. Taking off half of the crop early on relieves the vines, and allows their remaining clusters to receive the nourishment and attention that ripeness requires. Since I don’t own the vineyard, the only way to do this is with a farming team that is on the same journey, a farming team that also wants great wine in the bottle.

This 2021 Status Crow is riveting, seductive, and unique; the perfect wine is for all the naysayers who years ago told me I would never make great red wine in Santa Barbara County. Well, not only are we doing it, we are doing it with Carignan, which also makes this wine perfect for the naysayers to sip on while they dine on their crow.

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