Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Chalone Estate Pinot Noir 2005
Chalone Estate Pinot Noir 2005
(search item no. 89416)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Perched high in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard is a one-of-a-kind wine estate. This is extreme wine country with rare limestone soils, limited rainfall and wide diurnal temperature swings. The unique terroir produces wine that imparts a subtle mineral character with compelling fruit and richness. By California standards, Chalone Vineyard's grape yields are small (less than three tons per acre), but the grapes from this vineyard achieve homogeneity of ripeness and display intense character and superb balance.

The new Pinot Noir clones, planted in 1997, are really showing their potential with the 2005 vintage. The wine is darkly colored and amazingly opulent, with fantastic fruit intensity leaning toward red cherries and strawberries. Firm in body, with big tannins, this wine has amazing texture and length of finish. The ten months it spent in French oak integrated the fruit and tannins into a truly hedonistic glass of wine.

Pair with roasted turkey, seared duck with cherry sauce, grilled salmon and wild mushroom risotto.

My Notes:

About Chalone Vineyard:

Perched high on the western slopes of the remote Gavilan Mountain Range on Mount Chalone, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard represents a singular convergence of terroir and winemaking. Originally planted in 1919, the vineyard's ability to yield benchmark Chardonnay was discovered when Chalone Wine Group co-founder, Dick Graff, made his first vintage there in 1966. The time-honored Burgundian techniques he introduced complement the fruit's character to create the bouquet and flavors that are Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay's hallmarks. Chalone Vineyard's other estate-grown wines are equally distinctive. Chalone also produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinto Blanc and Chenin Blanc.