The Lone Oak estate is on the north-central section of the Santa Lucia Highlands’ bench among other well-known properties such as Garys’ and Rosella’s. Owned by the pioneering Hahn family, it was planted in 1999 to ninety-nine acres of Clone 4 (Wente) Chardonnay. The southeast - facing slope sits above the “fog line,” making for a perfect combination of sun and mitigating cool temperatures and winds off nearby Monterey Bay. The growing season here is one of the longest in California. Budbreak normally occurs in late March and the harvest can run into late October or even early November.
The resulting slow, gentle ripening allows for full flavor development on the vine. Lone Oak is certifiied Sustainable by CCVT. The 2010 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. For this limited Lone Oak release, we received classic Wente Clone fruit that was harvested on October 18 and November 1. The clone and property are a perfect match, providing Chardonnay with a rich tropical fruit character, bright acidity, and a mineral streak. 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. Twenty-five percent of the barrels were new. Partial secondary malo-lactic conversion occured naturally. The wine was allowed fourteen months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. Only 196 cases were produced.
“Lone Oak Vineyard is one of the top “up and comers” in the SLH. The Hahn family and vineyard manager Andy Mitchell are very sustainable, conscientious winegrowers. I work closely with them to let this great site express itself through focused, intense Chardonnay fruit. This rich, layered wine can go with just about anything - chicken, salmon, shellfish, or pasta, etc.”
- Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking