Brosseau Wines2005 Pinot Noir, Brosseau Vineyard
The Brosseaus planted their vineyard in the Chalone AVA in 1981. Back then – before neighboring Chalone Vineyard built a pipeline – water had to be trucked in for irrigation in the extremely dry climate. Even with the added water, yields are very low. For years the grapes were sold to neighboring Chalone Vineyard, but more recently, Brosseau Vineyard fruit has been sold to boutique wineries such as Testarossa Vineyards, Loring Wine Company, Tantara Winery, Roessler Cellars, and Harrington Winery. And some of the grapes go into the family’s own label, Brosseau.
Bill Brosseau – whose parents, Jon and Jan, planted the vineyard – is the winemaker for the family label as well as for Testarossa. He aged this wine in 1-year-old French oak barrels for 12 months. The result is a Pinot Noir that’s big and fairly muscular, with a minerality that’s typical for the Chalone AVA and its limestone soils. The wine, which sells for $38, also displays flavors of ripe cherry and raspberry, along with accents of anise and sage. It would benefit from a few more years in the bottle; Bill suggests decanting it if you want to drink the wine now.
Reviewed March 28, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.