2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

Working closely with some of the top vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, Testarossa has produced this limited release Chardonnay from the wonderful 2010 vintage. The Highlands is one of the state’s best known regions for world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area’s close proximity to Monterey Bay makes for a very cool climate, with one of California’s longest growing seasons. The resulting slow, gentle ripening allows for full flavor development on the vine. Testarossa’s partnership with the top vineyards in the SLH insure only the highest quality fruit makes it to the winery. For this vintage, proprietors Rob and Diana Jensen and Director of Winemaking, Bill Brosseau drew primarily upon well-known properties Fogstone and Sleepy Hollow. Lone Oak and Rosella’s vineyards also make up part of the final blend.

The 2010 growing season in the Highlands was one of the coolest on record, with very few heat spikes during the summer and fall. The SLH’s traditional lack of damaging fall rains allowed the fruit to hang as long as needed. Most of the Chardonnay was picked in late October at optimal Brix and acid numbers. Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the winery. The whole clusters were gently pressed and the juice went through primary fermentation in French oak cooperage with native yeasts. Thirty-five percent of the barrels were new. Secondary malolactic conversion occurred naturally. The wine was allowed ten months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. 1380 cases were produced. 


“Our 2010 SLH release is a striking example of Chardonnay from the Highlands. I really love the rich fruit character of this wine and how the oak component complements but never overpowers. This delicious wine can go with just about anything - chicken, seafood, cream-sauced pastas.” -

Bill Brosseau