2010 Chalone "Limited Release" Chalone Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $30)
Wine & Spirits
Those familiar with Calera's ripe yet mineral Pinot Noirs might see a family resemblance in this wine, which grows on limestone- and granite-based soils not far from Calera, just west of the Pinnacles National Monument. It's a robust Pinot Noir, the fruit sappy but also fragrant, suggesting the dry chaparral that grows in these hills. Match its power to twice-cooked pork. (K&L Note - this was reviewed as their "Estate Grown" Pinot - same wine under different label)
Red cherry, red currant, mushroom and sandalwood flavors mark this appealing wine. Bone dry, with good acidity, it’s a fine wine to drink now, but it should also age for quite some time, without necessarily gaining in complexity.
Just like the Chardonnay deal we presented a few months back, this is the 2010 Estate Pinot Noir with "Limited Release" added to the label. The "Limited Release" label was used instead of the "Estate Grown" label to give restaurants a wine that had preferential pricing. Again, it turns out they bottled a bit too much with this label so this wine was offered to K&L at a huge discount. This wine is basically half price--a steal! Chalone's unique terroir on a plateau in the Gavilan Mountains has an important niche in California wine history. Chalone Vineyard produced their first commercial vintage in 1966, but viticulture on their estate with its limestone-based soils goes back to the turn of the century. Chalone was given AVA status in 1982 and Chalone Vineyard remains the only winery in the appellation. Grapes are hand-harvested in the cool of night as each individual vine parcel reaches maturity. After careful vinification, the wine was aged for nine months in French oak to add a subtle spice to this bright, concentrated, and ultimately mineral-driven Pinot Noir. From Winemaker Robert Cook: "The mild temperatures in 2010 gave this Pinot Noir a subtle elegance of rose petals that doesn’t occur in all years... The long hang time fostered deliciously ripe, but not over-ripe, Pinot Noir varietal character of wild cherry and blackberry, layered with the Chalone terroir expression of mineral, hibiscus-flower, earth and high-mountain sage."