2010 Chuy Chardonnay Nelligan Road Ranch
Old vine, dry-farmed Chardonnay, from the same vineyard as Chuy Cabernet—a vineyard planted by Chuy Ordaz in the 70s, on the west slopes of Spring Mountain. The vines are old and gnarly, Chardonnay in Cabernet land; noble survivors producing tiny, intense clusters in their fourth decade.
The winemaking was unexceptional; but the wine was marked from the beginning by a dried porcini aroma that seemed more part of 10-year-old Meursault than a California wine in its first months. We left the barrels un-topped for the full maturation of two-years to accent the porcini, emphasize the strength of the wine, allow it to establish its dominance over the elements that surrounded it. The wine is powerful but not fierce; its power seems controlled and sophisticated. There is no rampage in the mouth.