2011 Chardonnay, Pastorale Vineyard
From the best block of the Freestone Vineyard, the 2011 Chardonnay Pastorale sees slightly more new oak (55%). This Corton-Charlemagne-like white wine reveals lots of wet stone, citrus oil, white peach and apple blossom notes with the wood component well-concealed, a rich, medium to full-bodied style, and a nicely layered finish that builds incrementally.
More floral on the nose than the basic Freestone Vineyards release, offering flamboyant aromas of candied peach, apricots, nutmeg and clove. I like this wine's restrained sweetness and tactile finish.
Volume and textural richness are the signatures of the 2011 Chardonnay Pastorale Vineyard. Layers of flavor build as the wine continues to open up in the glass. Today, the 2011 in nuanced, resonant and utterly impeccable in its balance.
These grapes grow a mere five miles from the Pacific Ocean, so ripeing is always edgy. Delightful nose of lemon cream and tropical fruits with an almost juicy, savory acidity on the palate followed by a rich and lasting finish. Knockout tasty.
The vineyard is in Freestone, a corner of southwestern Sonoma open to the cool maritime influence. The wine is brisk in acidity, and also pretty oaky, after spending more than a year in 60% new French barrels and 40% slightly older ones. But beyond the acidity and oak, you’ll find rich tropical fruit, apricot and orange flavors, wrapped into an ultraclean, vibrant mouthfeel, with mineral accents. -S.H.