2010 Clos Pepe "Barrel Fermented" Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented Clos Pepe Vineyard is a big, virile wine endowed with serious depth. Despite its richness, the 2010 has gorgeous underlying minerality lurking beneath the fruit. The 2010 is decidedly intense but also beautifully balanced. Only a slight element of rusticity in the bouquet keeps the score from going higher. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015. This is another strong set of wines from Clos Pepe, one of my favorite wineries in the Santa Rita Hills. The wines stand out for their class and irrepressible personalities.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(barrel-fermented and aged in four- and five-year-old French barriques): Light yellow. Smoky apple and pear aromas are brightened by lemon zest, honeysuckle and dusty minerals. Vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors display very good depth and energy, with a bright stony note emerging on the back. Finishes with impressive lift and clarity, leaving subtle lees and anise notes behind.
A well-integrated nose graces the wine with a rich and minerally characteristic. Flavors of of pineapple, peach skin, and golden apple with wet stone display bright and energetic Chardonnay character with a hint of oak carrying into the finish. Just 250 cases of this estate Chardonnay were produced, and it can be enjoyed for the next 5-7 years.