Peter Michael 'La Carriere' Chardonnay 2010

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Sonoma County

Overall, the 2010 vintage was very mild resulting in a small production of beautiful fruit. Unusually late spring rains delayed bud break by almost a full month. Temperatures remained moderate, but steady throughout the summer with ripening proceeding at a very gradual pace. Extensive canopy management and crop thinning by their vineyard team insured proper maturation of the fruit. The late start to the growing season resulted in a late harvest. However, a welcome burst of heat in early September pushed the grapes to their optimal ripeness. Picking proceeded quickly, beginning in late September and into mid October. Flavors and acidity remained bright and balanced, yielding a small but intense and elegant 2010 vintage of Chardonnay.La Carrière, French for “the quarry,” aptly describes this vineyard’s
bowl shape and its tremendously rocky soils. Situated between 1,200 and 1,700 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes exceeding forty percent in grade, the vineyard has ideal southern and southeastern exposures. The vineyard’s shallow rocky soils provide excellent drainage, low fertility and usually the lowest yields on the estate. La Carrière, with its concentrated “liquid minerality,” effectively reflects its mountainous origin.

Framed with aromas of crushed stone, terroir-driven minerality remains the signature of this vineyard. Notes of lily, hazelnut and sweet pear accented by mandarin orange, acacia, honey and vanilla complete the elegant bouquet. Citrus oils, white peach and lemon highlight the minerality. The magnificent concentration and elegance on the palate sculpt the structure of this wine. Its bright acidity and minerality will allow it to age for two decades, much like its Burgundian cousins from Puligny-Montrachet.

Harvested: September 29, 2010 to October 15, 2010
100% naturally fermented using native yeast
100% barrel fermented in French oak from artisan coopers
Barrel aged sur lies 11 months with weekly bâtonnage
Bottled unfined and unfiltered February 1, 2012
Alcohol: 15.2 %; Release Date: April 1, 2012