2010 Unoaked Chardonnay
This wine just keeps getting better with each vintage as we are now really starting to understand the vineyards where we source its fruit. The wine is 100% stainless steel fermented with no malo-lactic fermentations. This technique has allowed us to capture the true aromas and flavors from each of these vineyard sites. The cool summer of 2010 allowed for extremely slow flavor development that resulted in aromas of Sun Crest peaches, Red Gravenstein apples, Fantasia nectarines and Muscat Canelli grapes. The flavors are quite similar, but with a refreshing blast of acidity that reminds you of tropical fruits. I really enjoy turning my friends and family onto this wine and most everyone really loves it, especially when enjoyed with food.
—Winemaker Bob Cabral
Scores & Reviews
|91||Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar||May-June 2012|
The chardonnay for this blend was sourced from the Drake Estate Vineyard, the Olivet Lane Vineyard, and the Lazy W Ranch on Westside Road.
The 2010 vintage produced wines reflective of each individual vineyard site and appellation with concentrated aromas, rich fruit flavors, nicely balanced acidity and supple tannin structure. The hallmark of the 2010 vintage is one of extremes; between cool, early season temperatures and extreme late season heat, wines of tremendous character were made through careful attention to detail.
Above average rainfall in the winter months ended the streak of several average water years and ensured ample soil moisture for early season growth. Bud break initiated in late March and was somewhat delayed due to cool, rainy weather. Unseasonal cold and wet weather persisted into flowering, causing uneven berry set, or millerandage, where each cluster had a mixture of normal sized berries and tiny, shot berries, also referred to as “hens and chicks.” In addition to a reduction in yield, the net effect of millerandage is that wines of intense flavor and color were produced.
Summer brought unseasonably cold daytime temperatures with the morning marine layer not clearing until 1pm or 2pm each day. The briefly sunny days were followed by cool evenings, which gave the grapes great flavor and color development while preserving the natural acidity. The foggy mornings did compound lingering mold pressure present from the wet spring and therefore canopies were thinned to allow increased air flow and sun exposure to protect against Botrytis. On August 23rd, an unprecedented heat spike saw temperatures reach as high as 115F causing heat damage to the fruit on vines with open canopies. This “spike” lasted for three days and the intense heat necessitated careful crop thinning and sorting in the vineyards. Old vine Zinfandel vineyards were devastated and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir yields were further reduced. The return to cooler weather allowed for continued maturation of undamaged fruit and harvest started in earnest by mid-September. Warm early October weather hastened harvest and allowed for full ripening through to the end of the season when all of the fruit was picked by mid-October, prior to the late season rains.
The 2010 vintage was one of the most challenging I have experienced in my 32 vintages at a commercial winery. Meticulous sorting in vineyards, sorting again at the winery and careful attention to detail produced evocative and unique wines. A vintage of extremes with wines of deep color, juicy flavors, perfumed aromas and juxtaposed with tremendous finesse and balance, 2010 is truly a wonderful vintage in the making.
|Release Date:||Spring 2012|