You have all heard me mention how great the 2010 vintage was, no need to bring it up again. It has also been mentioned that the 2010 vintage may have been a bit too hot for the Sauvignon Blanc grape. I did mention on and off here that the 2010’s, save a few Sauvignon Blanc’s , were a bit out of whack.
In my opinion the one white wine grape that has done very well in 2010 was chardonnay.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay ($19) is a 100% steel fermented chardonnay. It did see extended contact with the lees following fermentation, which always brings an added depth and dimension to steel fermented chardonnay.
On the nose I picked up classic chardonnay notes, apple, pear and spice. Floral with a bread like or even croissant like nose with a hint of baking spice , fresh hazelnut and stoney minerality.
The palate brought more apple and pear and spice followed by a ripe tropical fruit note like mango and papaya. Some dried pineapples make an appearance. A lush and creamy mouth feel is brought to you in part to the 8 months it sat on the lees. There is a bit of heat on the palate, something you can expect from a vintage like 2010.
Bright clean acidity made me keep coming back for another sip. The finish was moderate with some baked apple notes.
When I was done tasting this bottle, I went back to look at my notes when I tasted this at Shinn Estate Vineyards “Shinn-Dig” — their annual wine futures dinner event. Here is what I thought of this same chardonnay in February 2011:
2010 Chardonnay: Stainless steel fermented, this is the wine that captured all of our attention. It was my favorite of the night. A cloudy glass was poured for us — this happens to be the only “unfinished wine” as the lees are still be stirred — it did not distract from aroma and flavors. Apple, pear, white almonds and hazelnuts with hints of mango, peach and spice filled the glass. There was a richness that I was picking up on the nose, buttery and creamy like, but I could just not pinpoint it. When tasted, there was bright acidity, with apple and spice showing through. Then came elements of fresh tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, star fruit and warm spice notes. There was a bit of heat I was picking up on the finish, but remember, it is still not finished. I think our group bought a case or two of this, and we never buy a case of Chardonnay. This is one to watch.