The spectacular 2010 vintage in the Chalone appellation gave this Chardonnay its highly nuanced flavors and exceptional structure, says Winemaker Robert Cook. The cool temperatures allowed us to patiently wait for wonderfully ripe flavors, revealed in the wine as layers of peach, pear and citrus, while the pronounced minerality and silky texture come from our unique terroir. As always, right after bottling, I found fresh, lemony notes predominating in the aromas, but it is now starting to develop the complex brioche nuances that I love in this wine as it ages.
Perched in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, this rugged vineyard sits at the base of an extinct...
Perched in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, this rugged vineyard sits at the base of an extinct volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Monument. Chalone Vineyard is one of the few wineries in the U.S. growing grapes in limestone-based soils, the same as in Burgundy. The spare, well-drained ground, limited rainfall and low crop levels attracted Dick Graff, who wanted to make top-flight Burgundian-styled Chardonnay. Graff made his first vintage under the Chalone Vineyard label in 1966, producing what became a benchmark for California Chardonnay. Today, we continue to focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We also produce limited amounts of Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Syrah. All of our estate wines are grown and bottled at the estate, meaning we control everything from vine to bottle.