The Brosseau estate in the Chalone appellation is arguaably the most unique vineyard source in the Testarossa line-up. Standing 1,600 feet above sea level in Monterey County’s Gabilan Mountains, you can actually see the Brosseau Vineyard’s terroir. The rocky crags and peaks of nearby Pinnacles National Monument loom over the almost moonscape-like panorama. This is the heart of the historic Chalone appellation, where you can literally taste the district’s ancient decomposed granite and limestone soils in every drop of wine. Owned by Testarossa Director of Winemaking, Bill Brosseau’s family, the property was originally planted in 1980; it has fifteen acres of Chardonnay, four acres of which are annually designated for Testarossa. The 2010 vintage marks the ninth for Testarossa from this special property.
The 2010 growing season was one of the coolest on record, with very even, moderate temperatures throughout the summer and early fall. The Chardonnay fruit (Wente and 76 clones) for this Testarossa release was picked on September 6. Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the winery. The juice went through primary fermentation in French oak cooperage with native yeasts. Less than one quarter of the barrels were new, allowing more fruit expression. Partial secondary malo-lactic conversion occured naturally. The wine was allowed twelve months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. Only 194 cases were produced.
“It is great fun to make wine from the vineyard I grew up in. While the property obviously has special meaning for me, it is also one of the most unique sites in the state for winegrowing. I personally oversee every facet of the process, from “dirt to bottle.” This 2010 vintage wine displays the trademark minerality of Chalone, under the rich core of apple and citrus flavors.”
- Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking