Thursday, September 15, 2016

2013 California Chardonnay & Pinots - Delicious Now, Plenty of Life Ahead

I've been ranting about California's 2013 vintage for a while. I love 2013s from pretty much everywhere in California. In 2013, a cold winter was followed by a warm spring, that triggered early bud break in many vineyards. But the year was relatively calm and uneventful, spare a heat spike in late June and early July, the weather was consistent. On the Sonoma Coast, the days were warm and the nights chilled by cold Pacific breeze.Bibiana Gonzalez-Rave, winemaker for Pahlmeyer’s Sonoma Coast wines, called the vintage ideal, a “perfect 10.” And I’ve heard similar praise from winemakers from all over the North Coast.

I've reviewed lots of rocking Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from 2013, and I recently revisited a few of them. These wines were stellar upon release and they're aging very slowly. Seems to me 2013 is one of those vintages that produced wines that are both immediately delicious but also structured for the long haul.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2013 Dierberg Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard - California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
About 15 months since I first tasted this wine and it's progressing nicely. Aromas of apples, limes and peach nectar on top of honey, chalk and salted almond. The acidity sings, making the wine precise and crystal clean, but it sports generous texture as well. Pretty peaches, limes and tropical fruit notes blend so well with these notes of minerals, river rocks, and a Muscadet-like note of seashells and ocean spray. Still young with lots of complexity to unfold. (92 points) 

2013 Alma Fría Chardonnay Plural Sonoma Coast - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Pretty much same notes as the bottle I tasted in April. I find this to be a thrilling and delicious iteration of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. If you like minerals, chalk, oceanic elements and bright acidity in your Chards, this is for you. But it also sports plenty of ripe fruit flavors and a complexity of other elements that make it so damn delicious. Beautiful in its youth but evolution ahead. (94 points)

2013 La Pitchoune Pinot Noir English Hill Vineyard - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Man this is absolutely delicious stuff. Complex as all hell but so pretty. Rich but layered with spice and herbal complexity. Long and thought-provoking while being so damned enjoyable to sip and not parse through it all (93 points)

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