Limestone soils, similar to those found in Burgundy, give this Pinot Noir its distinctive minerality, while the low rainfall on the mountain plateau concentrates its rich flavors. This wine is a blend of Dijon, Pommard and our heritage Macwood Pinot Noir clones from vineyards planted between 1973 and 2000. The Dijon clones contribute brightness and fruit-forward character, while the Pommard clone adds hibiscus-flower notes and structured tannins. The Macwood clone brings hints of rustic earthiness to the wine, which Robert says gives an Old World complexity.
|Perched high on the western slopes of the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California’s Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard represents a singular convergence of terroir and winemaking. Here thin, well-drained limestone-based soils combine with a sunny, wind-cooled microclimate and limited rainfall to produce fruit of unique richness and character that demonstrate this vineyard’s typicity. Originally planted in 1919, the vineyard’s ability to yield benchmark Chardonnay was discovered when Chalone Wine Group cofounder Dick Graff made his first vintage here in 1966. The time-honored Burgundian techniques he introduced complement the fruit’s inimitable character to create the full bouquet and hedonistic flavors that are Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay’s hallmarks.