Working closely wtih some of the top vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands’ appellation, Testarossa has produced this limited release Chardonnay from the exacting 2012 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 production team’s partnership with the best estates in the SLH insure only the highest quality fruit makes it to the winery. For this vintage, proprietors Rob and Diana Jensen and winemaker Bill Brosseau drew primarily upon well-known properties Lone Oak and Fogstone vineyards.
The 2012 growing season in the Highlands was free of significant weather events.No significant rain impacted the budding period and the predictable weather allowed the fruit to hang as long as needed for full ripening of the fruit, delivering an abundant yield.
Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the historic winery. The juice went through primary fermentation in 60 gallon French oak cooperage with innoculated yeasts. Twentynine percent of the barrels were new. A partial, secondary malo-lactic conversion occured naturally. The wine was allowed eleven months of sur-lie barrel aging prior to bottling. 2543 cases were produced.
"Medium straw hue. Scents of honey, citrus, and butterscotch leap out of the glass. Hints of apple and banana round out the aroma profile. Flavors focus into citrus, honey, and butterscotch in this youthful Chardonnay. The palate is vibrant and well focused by subtle notes of French oak. The finish starts lively, then fades slowly while getting richer. Drink now through 2017." ~Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking
90 points, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Review. "The 2012 growing season was excellent and the quality of the grapes is revealed in the wines. Weather conditions allowed for long hang time, full ripening of the fruit, and abundant yields. The whites and reds exhibit rich flavors with good acidity and structure that will allow for good aging over the coming years. The Chardonnays can generally be enjoyed now for up to five years; the Pinot Noirs for seven to ten years."