2011 Paul Lato "East of Eden - Pisoni Vineyard" Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

SKU #1325570 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The largest scaled of the Chardonnay lineup and spending upwards of 15 months in 75% new French oak, the 2011 Chardonnay East of Eden Pisoni Vineyard offers up a reserved, slightly backwards bouquet of ripe golden apples, white peach, charcoal, toast and hints of brioche. This flows to a dense, concentrated effort that needs another year or two to round into form. Serious, concentrated and yet laser-focused, it will age beautifully through 2021. Drink 2015-2021. Paul Lato continues to knock it out of the park and I can’t say enough about the quality coming from this estate. Across the board, the wines show classic, varietally correct profiles that always show finesse and elegance, yet back it up with layers of fruit and texture. (JD) 95+  (8/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (aged in 75% new French oak): Pale gold. Sexy, expansive aromas of candied orange, pear, and honey, with a floral topnote. Silky and spicy on the palate, offering powerful orchard and citrus fruit flavors braced by juicy acidity. Closes on an intense floral note, with excellent clarity and length. Only a small section of this famed vineyard is planted to Chardonnay and Lato gets the lion's share of the fruit. (JR)  (11/2013)

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Lucia Highlands