Once again Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate heralded Testarossa's newest vintage with rave reviews. Testarossa Director of Winemaking. Bill Brosseau, sat down with Jeb Dunnuck from the Wine Advocate one sunny day in the Santa Lucia Highlands and went through our 2012 portfolio of wines. Not surprisingly our 2012 Niclaire Pinot Noir stole the show! According to Dunnuck, "This was another impressive lineup by winemaker Bill Brosseau. As I said last year, these wines remain reasonably priced given the quality. They're highly recommended."
94 Points Niclaire Pinot Noir
94 Points Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay
93 Points Diana's Chardonnay
93 Points Rosella's Vineyard Chardonnay
93 Points Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay
93 Points Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir
92 Points Dos Rubios Vineyard Chardonnay
92 Points Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay
92 Points La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay
92 Points Dos Rubios Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 Points Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay
91 Points Lone Oak Vineyard Chardonnay
91 Points Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
91 Points Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay
91 Points Doctor's Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 Points Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points Fogstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 Points Sierra Madre Vineard Pinot Noir
94 Points 2012 Niclaire Pinot Noir
Made from the best ten barrels in the winery, the 2012 Pinot Noir Niclaire is a gorgeous, rich and layered effort that knocks it out of the park with its cassis and blackberry fruit, vanilla bean and licorice-driven aromas and flavors. Not losing a beat on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with ripe tannin and a great texture. Seeing 10.5 months in 63% new French oak, it should evolve nicely for just under a decade.
94 Points 2012 Brosseau Vineyard Chardonnay
Coming from limestone and granite soils, the 2012 Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard is stunning. Made in a rich, full-flavored style, it has knockout aromas and flavors of apple and stone fruits, toasted nuts, white flowers and hints of honeycomb. This all flows to a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, layered and balanced white that has integrated acidity and notable precision and focus on the finish. Seeing just under 12 months in 31% new French oak, enjoy this beauty over the coming 2-3 years.
93 Points 2012 Diana's Chardonnay
Made from the best eight barrels in the winery, the 2012 Chardonnay Diana’s Reserve (100% Chardonnay aged 11.5 months in 42% new French oak) has a ripe, textured and decadent style to go with classy citrus blossom, ripe orchard fruits, white flowers and crème brûlée-like aromas and flavors. Like all of the Chardonnays from this estate, this beauty has notable freshness and purity, good concentration and plenty of length on the finish. It will deliver the goods for 3-4 years.
93 Points 2012 Rosella's Vineyard Chardonnay
One of the standouts in the lineup, the 2012 Chardonnay Rosella’s Vineyard has knockout purity and precision to go with a medium-bodied, elegant, seamless style. Dried herbs, mineral, stone fruits and hints of toast all emerge from this classy white, and it can be consumed anytime over the coming 3-5 years, possibly longer.
93 Points 2012 Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay
My favorite of the whites, the 2012 Chardonnay Sierra Madre Vineyard (Sta. Rita Hills) has gorgeous tropical fruits, white flowers, mint and salty mineral-like aromas and flavors that continue to develop in the glass. Spending 11 months in 21% new French oak, it has medium-bodied richness, notable freshness and a clean, nicely focused finish. It’s a superb Chardonnay that has both richness and freshness, and it will drink nicely for 3-4 years.
93 Points 2012 Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir
Coming from the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands and decomposed Granite soils, the 2012 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard was completely destemmed and spent 17.5 months in 67% new French oak. Giving up plenty of sweet oak in its black fruits, rosemary, leather and hints of chocolate, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and structured. Give it a year and enjoy bottles through 2022.
92 Points 2012 Dos Rubios Vineyard Chardonnay
From the Santa Lucia Highlands and vines planted in 2008, the 2012 Chardonnay Dos Rubios Vineyard is a medium-bodied, elegant Chardonnay that has pretty white peach, apple and white flowers, with hints of minerality coming through on the palate. It’s a beautifully put together white that will drink nicely for 3-4 years.
92 Points 2012 Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay
Coming out of the Arroyo Grande Valley, the 2012 Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard is made in a rich, full-throttle style. Giving up ample ripe golden apple, vanilla cream, spice and toasty notes, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, integrated acidity and a terrific finish. It’s a rocking Chardonnay that will deliver the goods over the coming 2-3 years.
92 Points 2012 La Rinconada Vineyard Chardonnay
More focused and elegant, yet in the same ballpark quality-wise, the 2012 Chardonnay La Rinconada (which is located in the western portion of the Sta. Rita Hills and was planted in 1995) has an alluring saltiness to go with pretty apple, poached pear and hints of brioche. It’s a pure, medium-bodied and classy effort to enjoy over the coming 3-4 years or so.
92 Points 2012 Dos Rubios Vineyard Pinot Noir
One of the more structured 2012s, the 2012 Pinot Noir Dos Rubios Vineyard comes from a high-density vineyard, was completely destemmed, and spent 10.5 months in 52% new French oak. Black cherry, black raspberry, licorice, hints of leather and some crushed flowers all emerge here, and it has a medium-bodied, tight, structured feel on the palate. It should be at its best from 2015-2022.
91 Points 2012 Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay
Last of the whites, and a ripe, rich effort, the 2012 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard offers up loads of orchard fruits, apple tart and toasted almonds to go with a medium-bodied, rich and layered texture on the palate. The oak here is a little heavy-handed, but it pulls it off and stays lively and very drinkable. Enjoy it with food over the coming year or three.
91 Points 2012 Lone Oak Vineyard Chardonnay
From a vineyard located right next to Rosella’s Vineyard, the 2012 Chardonnay Lone Oak Vineyard shines for its purity, freshness and focus. Showing stone fruits, white flowers and hints of toast, it hits the palate with bright acidity, a solid mid-palate and a terrific finish. Fermented and aged ten months in 33% new French oak, it’s another classy, very well made Chardonnay from this estate.
91 Points 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
The 2012 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands, which comes from the Fogstone and Lone Oak Vineyards, offers an outstanding array of ripe apple fruits, crème and hints of butterscotch to go with a medium to full-bodied, rounded, supple style that stays fresh and clean. Aged ten months in 16% new French oak, it’s a beautiful, classy Chardonnay to drink over the coming couple of years.
91 Points 2012 Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay
The 2012 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard has subtle oak and brioche in its leafy herb, melon, apple and citrus blossom-styled aromas and flavors. Seeing ten months in 27% new French oak, it’s a medium-bodied, fresh and layered effort that has both freshness and richness.
91 Points 2012 Doctor's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Completely destemmed and aged 11 months in 58% new French oak, the 2012 Pinot Noir Doctor’s Vineyard has a gamey, darker fruit-driven style, with complete forest floor, dried herbs and earthy notes developing in the glass. Medium-bodied, supple and pure, with a pretty feel, it’s a delicious Pinot Noir that will evolve nicely through 2020.
91 Points 2012 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Loaded with dark fruits, wild strawberry, mint and mulberry-like nuances, the 2012 Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard has bright acidity, medium-bodied richness and a fresh lively profile, which is exactly what you expect from this vineyard. Fermented and aged in 65% new French oak, it shows more and more floral notes with air, as well as solid balance and a clean finish. It will dish out plenty of pleasure through 2020.
90 Points 2012 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
Moving to the reds, the 2012 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard was completely destemmed and saw 10 months in 43% new French oak. It’s a balanced, medium-bodied Pinot Noir that gives up pretty black cherries, toasted spice and hints of leather in its nicely concentrated and ripe personality. It will drink well for 4-5 years.
90 Points 2012 Fogstone Vineyard Pinot Noir
From the coolest terroir in the lineup, the 2012 Pinot Noir Fogstone Vineyard has bright cranberry, spring flowers, sappy herbs and a gunpowder/flinty minerality to go with medium-bodied depth and richness on the palate. There’s some creamy oak that comes out with time in the glass, and the overall profile here is polished, layered and seamless. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.
90 Points 2012 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir
The 2012 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is solid, yet has a slightly stretched feel in its medium-bodied, focused, structured profile. Showing plenty of smoked earth, underbrush, mulberry and black cherry nuances, it should be better in another year, and have 3-4 years of longevity, maybe more depending on how it fills in.
90 Points 2012 La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir
The 2012 Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard offers more smoked meats, leather, toasted spice and both kirsch and blackberry fruit to go with a rich, layered and character-filled personality. Aged just under 11 months in 50% new French oak, it’s an outstanding effort to drink over the coming 3-5 years.
90 Points 2012 Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir
One of the more elegant releases in the lineup, the 2012 Pinot Noir Rincon Vineyard has loads of crushed flowers, rose petal and sweet berry fruit in its medium-bodied, silky and lightly textured profile. Completely destemmed and aged 17.5 months in 38% new French oak, enjoy this beauty over the coming 2-4 years.
90 Points 2012 Sierra Madre Vineard Pinot Noir
Also outstanding, the 2012 Pinot Noir Sierra Madre Vineyard has a wild, exotic style with its baking spice, game, white pepper and wild strawberry-like aromas and flavors. Supple, medium-bodied, nicely textured and with solid overall acidity and focus, it can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 3-4 years.