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 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 Vineyard is home to ninety-one 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 2011 growing season at Sierra Madre was one of the coolest and wettest on record. The Santa Maria Valley was spared much of the fall rains that hit other growng districts, allowing the Chardonnay fruit to fully ripen. The Chardonnay was picked on September 15; this 2011 release is our fourth vintage from this exceptional property.
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-four percent of the barrels were new, allowing more fruit expression. Secondary malolactic conversion occurred naturally. This Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay was allowed ten months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. Eleven barrels were produced.
“Medium yellow hue. This fine Chardonnay opens up with notes of ripe fig, mango, peach, kiwi, and pineapple. As the wine swirls on the palate, tropical notes segue into intense minerality. Just before the acidity appears too vibrant, notes of honey interweave in the palate to create a hedonistic creaminess. This wine finishes smooth, yet lively, representing another exciting effort out of this cool climate vineyard. Drink now through 2020.”
~ Bill Brosseau, Winemaker