More than half of the grapes for this Chardonnay came from vines that are more than 25 years old. Our oldest Chardonnay vines were planted in 1919 and the most recent in 1999, with a substantial number of blocks planted in the 1970s and 1980s. Robert believes that these mature vines give the estate Chardonnays their quality and typicite. “By typicite, I mean wines that speak of the varietal character and the place that’s Chalone,” explains Robert. “It’s in their mouthfeel, texture, brightness and minerality.” A variety of Dijon clones and field selections add complexity to the wine, including Robert’s favorite—a heritage clone planted in 1972 that gives distinctive floral notes.
This wine should continue improving in the bottle over the next two to five years. Chalone Chardonnay is the white wine for the red wine drinker, which means it complements a wide variety of foods: seafood risotto, herb-rubbed roasted chicken
and veal picante are just a few great matches. Truly hedonistic.
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.