Working closely with Sierra Madre’s owners Doug and Jan Circle, Rob and Diana Jensen and Director of Winemaking, Bill Brosseau have created an exceptional Chardonnay from this great vineyard. The Sierra Madre Vineyard is the most northern and one of the westernmost estates in the Santa Maria Valley. Only fifteen miles from the coast, the unique marine influences here make for an exceptionally long growing season. Originally planted in 1971, Sierra Madre is home to ninetyone acres of Chardonnay, eight of which have been designated as Testarossa’s. The site sits on sandy, garry soils at only 215 feet elevation. The vineyard is certified Sustainable for its conscientious viticultural practices by CCVT.
The 2010 growing season was one of the coolest on record, with very even, moderate temperatures throughout the summer and early fall. The fruit for this Testarossa Sierra Madre release was picked on September 30. The grapes averaged a nicely balanced 26 degrees Brix with good flavor and acidity.
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. Less than one quarter of the barrels were new, allowing more fruit expression. Secondary malolactic conversion occurred naturally. The wine was allowed eleven months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. Only 323 cases were produced.
“Our 2010 Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay is one of my favorite wines. Aromas of honey, pear, and kiwi are accented wtih notes of vanilla and cloves. On the palate, the pear and honey combine with grapefruit and passionfruit flavors. Bright acidity heightens the fruit and complements the rich, creme brulee - like finish. Drink now thru 2016.”
- Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking