2011 Chehalem Reserve Chardonnay
2011 is the epitome of an "ageable vintage" as far as we are concerned, and our Reserve tier is the most age-worthy of all the Chehalem wines. This Reserve Chardonnay lightly accents the beautiful French oak used for fermentation and aging, but completes the wine with elegant fruit and focused acid and structure.
Baking spice and warm dry oats play on the nose, leading to sweeter aromas of dulce de leche and flaky apple pie. There's sweet wood and vanilla on the palate, linked with pear, quince jam, and peach pit, perhaps reminiscent of peaches and cream. The finish is long, round, and lingering, mid-palate weight is persistent, and ripe acids tightly knit the complete package.
Yes, 2011 is THE latest harvest on our records. Three weeks late, picking some of our blocks as late as the second week of November, one would think the cards were stacked against us. However, considering three positive aspects from the vintages; 1) late season sun, 2) lower yields, and 3) below average rainfall - we're seeing one of the best vintages of the last twenty years emerge. Resulting wines are fully ripe, rich, deep, dark AND carry low pHs/high acids and low alcohols, which bodes exceptionally well for long aging, food friendliness and a reputation that makes similar years, like 1999 and 2008, humble!
91 Points - Wine Enthusiast
91 Points - Wine Spectator