Spelletich Cellars2003 Chardonnay, Ghisletta Vineyard
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)
There’s very little evidence of new oak in this Chardonnay that is farmed from the Ghisletta Vineyard in the Carneros. But there is about two-thirds that is new. What we do have here is almost pure golden fruit with tropical aromas that manifests with a bigness in the mouth.
There was no malolactic fermentation (ML) introduced here, further proof that what is in the glass is nearly all fruit-driven. What it adds up to is that with minimal intervention, Barbara Spelletich has made a brilliant wine with great balance.
The Ghisletta (GIZZ-let-a) Vineyard sits next to the famed Truchard Vineyard on Old Sonoma Road, which has become one of the most famous grape growing spots in the cool Carneros. Although she didn’t induce ML, Spelletich did keep her fruit on the lees for 15 months in French oak in addition to using some barrels from Hungary, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. However, only a third of the oak was new.
The listed alcohol is curiously high – 15.12 percent – but I experienced no hotness at all. There were about 400 cases produced.
Reviewed October 19, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Spelletich Cellars
2003 Bodog Red
(Napa Valley)Alan Goldfarb 2/14/2007
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.