The 2008 Isobel release is destined to be one of the very finest bottlings to date and is wonderfully evocative of this unique
vineyard site. It naturally combines Californian richness with coastal structure and a real sense of Burgundian aromatic complexity.
A slightly above average crop level allowed the grapes to hang on the vine into late September without building sugar ripeness too rapidly. We made an early harvest pass on the west side of the vineyard where the shallowest soils & smallest grapes are found. A week later we ventured into the eastern block at a slightly higher ripeness level with a view to blending these two components. The final blend is a 30/70% blend of these two picks, which best represents the
vineyard's excellent performance in this great chardonnay vintage.
Most closely similar in profile to the 2005 Isobel bottling, the wine's immense aromatic complexity is at the heart of its greatness and I would expect the wine to develop increased nuanced richness with five to seven years in bottle.
"The 2008 Chardonnay Isobel (all from the Charles Heintz Vineyard's 27-year old vines) exhibits a light straw/green hue as well as a stunning nose of caramelized lemons, orange blossoms, nectarines and hints of tropical fruits and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and powerful, it should drink well for 7-8 years."
The Wine Advocate
"Greenish gold. Higher in pitch than the Clare, displaying intense, mineral-dominated citrus and spice aromas, along with notes of licorice and white pepper. Lively acidity adds lift to fresh orange and pear flavors, with a late note of iodine adding complexity. Finishes juicy and long, with a resonating note of gingerbread. This is complex enough to enjoy now but has the spine and concentration to age."
International Wine Cellar
"Very ripe and complex, offering exotic tropical fruit flavors, with guava, pineapple, peach and floral scents. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, ending with baked fruit flavors. Drink now through 2017."