Monday, May 3, 2021

Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Valley Les Pierres Vineyard Chardonnay, 1983

I bought two bottles of this wine back in 1985, one to give as a present  to my brother-in-law, Peter (Pierre) and one for myself to try. I planned to drink it by 1988 but as the years passed, the bottle became less and desirable, and I assumed it was long past its drinking window. 

Les Pierres, though, is known though as a special place to grow high quality Chardonnay. As the label states: "The vineyard takes its name from the large number of stones in the soil. The vines are planted in gravelly loam, underlain at 14 to 30 inches by layers of igneous rock and cobblestone." The vines are highly stressed with poor water retention, resulting in low yields and wines that are highly concentrated and rich in flavor and mineral tones. Many believe it is one of the best California Chardonnays.

After 37 years in the bottle, the color is a somewhat cloudy salmon. Could easily be mistaken for a rose. The bouquet needs some coaxing and is best after the wine has warmed in the glass. Ripe apple, peach, minerals and spice. Smooth with good body but also ample acidity. Flavors develop substantially over the course of the meal--rich, subtle and complex. Medium long finish. Of course, this wine would have been better a few decades ago, but it is very enjoyable tonight. I will keep an eye out for current vintages of Les Pierres. 

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