2010 Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay
This chardonnay comes from a high elevation site on Los Alamos Vineyard, where the soil changes from typical Los Alamos sand to more alluvial, shale infused soils. The grapes were handpicked on September 7th and barrel fermented in French Oak (1/3 new). We make chardonnay in the most minimalist way possible. The fruit is picked early in the morning (so that it is naturally cold) and pressed directly into a tank. As soon as the pressing is finished, the juice is put into barrel with all of its solids. The wine fermented completely dry through both primary and then later maloactic fermentation. It was then left to age (with only topping and small sulfur additions) until it was racked 14.5 months later. There were only 6 barrels produced in 2010 (less than 150 cases). This wine was bottled unfiltered after almost 18 months in barrel.
2010 was a very calm, cool and balanced year. With patience, it was very easy to achieve great ripeness at lower alcohols. Because of the cold harvest I think the 2010 red wines have a great spice component and the white wines show fantastic minerality.
This wine has tremendous focus and energy. There is a great paprika and spice component on the nose as well as green apple skin and ripe apricot. The palate is mineral, and finishes with great viscous concentration and length. In typical form of Los Alamos Vineyard, which is planted on an ancient sand dune, the palate has a unique saline quality that waters the mouth and lasts for minutes.
The finish is long, and with intense minerality and refreshing acidity.