October 27, 2010
May 25, 2012
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards planted in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County. Specialized trellising allows the fruit to ripen slowly, producing exceptional wines with high natural acidity. Grapes from this world famous vineyard poses up-front tropical fruit flavors, seductive texture, and excellent aging potential.
Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about global warming in the Santa Lucia Highlands. For yet another year – this now makes six in a row – we experienced extremely cool growing conditions that delayed harvest until late October. The culprit was stubborn of La Nina where the ocean water temperatures were substantially below normal resulting in cool, dry winds. Patience was the name of the game and inclement weather held off until all the fruit fully ripened. Thirty years of winemaking and raising four boys has taught me this.
Handpicked fruit was barrel fermented in French oak from three separate coopers, the wood coming from the forests of Allier and Voges. Malolactic fermentation was completed in late May of 2011, softening the acidity and creating a round, buttery character. Allowed to barrel age "sur lees" for twelve months, this wine is polished, elegant, and very round on the palate.
Our version of Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay is decidedly elegant, offering deep concentrated layers of apricot, ripe pear, and pineapple, with soft oak flavors and a hint of clove. The creamy, lingering butterscotch finish, coupled with firm natural acidity, will invite you back for continued enjoyment. Pair this wine with grilled shrimp, scallops, or, as a stand-alone cocktail.
Steve Pessagno, Winemaker
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Rich doesn't begin to describe the layers of flavor and texture. This wine is massive, with notes of tropical fruit and apricot, with a slightly botrytized character that Sleepy Hollow Chardonnays often display. The oak is lavish and buttery, but perfectly matched to the wine's volume. It also has classic Monterey acidity—as pert as a squeeze of lime. Delicious, full bodied and exotic, it defines its vineyard and appellation. —S.H.
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