Beautiful aromatics of ripe peach, honey and Chinese five spice arise from the glass of this delectable dessert wine. The palate is extremely dense and rich with copious apricot, peach and honeyed characters. The residual sugar is well balanced by bright acidity, and this wine remains true to its Pinot Gris origins.
Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
2010 will go down as one of the coolest years in Californian history. A very chilly spring with significant frost events delayed budbreak 10-14 days behind normal. Due to cooler La Niña ocean temperatures, the summer was much cooler than average with the June coastal fog persisting into July and August. An extended heat wave in the last week of September gave us record-breaking heat, with temperatures exceeding 110°F for four days, allowing ripening to catch up a bit. October rains created the perfect conditions for us to make a Botrytized late harvest Pinot Gris, the additional hang-time pushing sugars to 36° Brix while the grapes retained acidity in the cool weather.
This late-harvest Pinot Gris was picked in November after being significantly affected by Botrytis from the October rains. Sugar at harvest was 36° Brix. Fermentation took place in stainless steel barrels and lasted 4 months, leaving 8% residual sugar. The wine was aged in stainless steel for a further 10 months to develop a lovely honeyed texture.
The Oregonian clone AH exhibits plenty of pretty floral and spice characters that make it perfect for this style of wine.