Diatom is motivated by the pursuit of subtraction and refinement….We strive for a recognition of place with as little disturbance, distraction or interference as possible. The resulting wines have a sense of transparency and a purity of intent and purpose.
—Greg Brewer, Founder & Winemaker
In the spirit of minimal intervention, diatom is fermented at a low temperature in small stainless-steel tanks, coupled with inhibited malo-lactic and short hose transit to ensure precision and focus.
Katherine’s is sourced from the north-west corner of Cambria’s Santa Maria Estate vineyard, influenced by the cool maritime climate provided by the Pacific Ocean. This block is highlighted by fifty-year-old, self-rooted vines planted in gravelly loam soils.
AROMA – Citrus Blossom, Mineral
FLAVOR – Green Apple, Lime
TEXTURE – Saline, Precise
Coming from the Santa Maria Valley, the 2017 Chardonnay Katherine’s just jumps from the glass with a perfumed, tropical bouquet of ripe citrus, spice, dried pineapple, and mango notes. Showing more and more classic salinity and oyster shell characteristics with time in the glass, it’s medium bodied, has bright acidity, a layered, viscous texture, and a beautiful finish. It’s going to evolve for 8-10 years at a minimum.
94pts – JebDunnuck.com, Jeb Dunnuck October 2018
The 2017 Chardonnay Katherine’s is the most distinctive wine in this range. Crushed rocks, slate, lemon peel and graphite are some of the many notes that flesh out in and expansive, layered Chardonnay endowed with tremendous pedigree and sheer character. The Katherine’s will be fascinating to follow as it develops in bottle. Even today, though, it is a true standout.
94pts – Vinous, Antonio Galloni September 2018
Notes of peach, grapefruit, pastry cream and lime cordial precede a medium-bodied, glossy, saline, acid-driven wine with beautiful purity and concentration.
92pts – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, William Kelley April 2018
All clone 4 from a site just beside Bien Nacido, the 2018 Chardonnay Katherine’s has an Alsatian slant in it’s green citrus, tangerine, white flower and honeysuckle aromas and flavors. With beautiful purity, plenty of minerality, medium to full body, and a crisp, layered style, this gorgeous Chardonnay does everything right. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 7-8 years.
95pts – JebDunnuck.com, Jeb Dunnuck October 2019
The 2018 Chardonnay Katherine’s comes from clone four, self-rooted vines that are 49 years old. It has a wonderfully open, perfumed nose of ripe quince, peaches and apricot, sweet hay, dried chamomile, orange blossom, spring honey and toasted almonds plus hints of crushed shell, lime peel and saline. The light to medium-bodied palate offers intense, seriously minerally flavor layers with great supporting texture and juicy acidity, finishing long, layered and energetic.
94pts – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks September 2019
The 2018 Chardonnay Katherine’s, from the Cambria estate in Santa Maria, exudes depth and old-vine character in its powerful, dense feel. If tasted blind, I might have pegged this for a red wine, such is its phenolic resonance. These 50-year-old, own rooted vines confer striking complexity and character. This is such a compelling wine.
94pts – Vinous, Antonio Galloni September 2019
2019 vintage not yet reviewed