2011 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 calcaric shale and limestone. The grapes were handpicked on September 3,, and barrel-fermented in French oak (1/4 new). We make Chardonnay in the most minimalist way possible. The fruit was picked early in the morning (when it was naturally cold) and pressed directly into a tank. As soon as the pressing was finished, the juice was put into barrel with all of its solids. The wine fermented completely dry through both primary and then later malolactic fermentation. It was then left to age (with only topping and small sulfur additions) until it was racked 14 months later. There were only six barrels produced in 2011 (less than 150 cases). This wine was bottled unfiltered after 15 months in barrel.
2011 will go down as a very challenging year for California. However, sites that escaped exposure to wind during flowering, and later frosts, produced beautiful fruit. These sections of Los Alamos Vineyard did just that.
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous.com- 93 points, July 2013
The 2011 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is a wine of true distinction. Ripe apricots, peaches and flowers inform a juicy, expressive Chardonnay layered with class and personality. Creamy and rich on the palate, yet also beautiful in its sense of balance, the 2010 is a wonderfully complete wine. Stylistically, the Los Alamos is a bit more immediate than the Bien Nacido Chardonnay. Smoke, mineral, almonds and white flowers all flesh out in the glass. Drinking window: 2014 - 2019
Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate- 90 points, August 2013
A beauty, the 2011 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard exhibits a fresh, lively array of citrus, mineral and white flowers to go with a medium-bodied, fresh and racy feel on the palate. Supple and upfront, with a kick of acidity on the finish, it should be better in another 6-12 months and drink well through 2017. Drink now-2017.