For thousands of years the mists from the Pacific Ocean have swirled around what is known as the Chalone Peak. This high-altitude location is ideal for vineyards, as the mists cool the small valleys that are nestled on top of the Gavilan Mountain Range in California's Monterey County, the home of the extinct volcanic spires called the Pinnacles. The sloping limestone area at the base of the rugged, basalt Pinnacles is a vinous microclimate unto itself. Spare, well-drained soil, limited rainfall and low crop levels led first a Frenchman, Curtis Tamm in 1919, and then Dick Graff in the 1960s to the inescapable conclusion that it was possible to produce a top-flight Burgundian-styled Chardonnay at this remote site.
Winemaker Dan Karlsen remembers his first taste of Chalone's estate Chardonnay: "I was amazed at the intense mineral qualities of the aroma and the richness of the body. There's also that hazelnut, or 'brioche,' quality that originates in the grapes and which is fully incorporated into the wine by sur lie aging and batonage, or stirring of the lees."
Nearly 40 years since its first Chardonnay was produced, Chalone Vineyard is still considered the benchmark for California Chardonnay. Accompanied by stone fruit and lush ripe pear, the wine's mineral flavors which are derived from the distinctive limestone soils. Chalone's unique signature, the mineral component serves as the thread that binds the wine together, resulting in an ageless, as well as highly ageable, wine.
Since its beginning Chalone Vineyard and its winemakers have shared an unrivaled commitment to farming on the winery's rugged estate. While production and irrigation are no longer dependent on gas-powered generators and trucks hauling tanks of water, farming at Chalone Vineyard still requires commitment. Karlsen says the fruit of his labor is worth the extreme temperatures, the high cost of pumping water from nearly eight miles away and the remote living conditions.
Visit the Chalone Vineyard website
Chalone Vineyard Monterey County Merlot 2012
Chalone Merlot is sourced entirely from our Paris Valley Ranch estate vineyard. This vineyard, located in the rolling hills of the San Lucas American Viticultural Area (AVA) of southern Monterey County, has excellent soils and the right balance of warm sunny days and cool nights to develop Merlot's full spectrum ... more
Save $7.02 (47%)
All sizes are 750ml unless otherwise noted.
Not responsible for typographical errors.
Prices and availability are subject to change without notice.