Chalone Pinot Blanc 2005
Leaving the wine on the lees adds the signature hazelnut character typical of Chalone white wines and builds roundness and finish. This lovely wine offers bright flavors of crisp apple and brioche. It has a wonderful smooth and creamy texture, medium to full body and balanced acidity.
Enjoy it on its own as an aperitif before a meal, or paired with chicken salad with tarragon and walnuts, poached dilled salmon or creamy pasta Alfredo.
Chalone Vineyard is one of the most remarkable estate winery properties in California. Built on the concept of terroir, a French term used to define the myriad of indescribable geographic and climatic conditions, it is located on an isolated mountain plateau in Monterey County and adjacent to the Pinnacles National Monument. As the sole winery within the Chalone AVA, the wines reflect the distinct minerality of the soil and beautiful balance between ripe fruit character and natural acidity meant for aging.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Approachable, aromatic and pleasantly plush on the palate, Pinot Blanc is a white grape variety most associated with the Alsace region of France. Although its heritage is Burgundian, today it is rarely found there and instead thrives throughout central Europe, namely Germany and Austria, where it is known as Weissburgunder and Alto Adige where it is called Pinot Bianco. Interestingly, Pinot Blanc was born out of a mutation of the pink-skinned Pinot Gris. Somm Secret—Chardonnay fans looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.