Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2002 Trout Gulch Chardonnay "La Pecherie"

Bernie Turgeon was one of the founders of Turgeon and Lohr winery in San Jose. When he sold his share, his partner Jerry Lohr renamed the company J.Lohr and the rest as they say is history.

Bernie then ran a brewpub in Santa Cruz for a few years before purchasing a 25 acre ranch above Aptos. He planted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and Trout Gulch Vineyards was formed with his son Gerry. The label reads "Turgeon, Pere et Fils".

Unfortunately Bernie has now retired and Gerry has a full time job. He continues to run the label but the vineyard has been sold and is now known as "Pinto Valley", with fruit being sold to various local winemakers including Burrell School. Trout Gulch now sources most of their fruit from Bargetto's Regan Vineyard, and from what I've tasted the difference is evident.

2002 was the last vintage made from the Trout Gulch vineyard. Recently Gerry cleared out much of the remaining library stocks through Whole Foods and I was fortunate enough to snag a few.

The last bottle I had was in early February, and was slightly oxidised. Not unpleasantly so, but it certainly seemed much more mature than I expected from a 2002. This one is not oxidised at all, and is delicious. The colour is very pale. The nose is faint and slightly floral, possibly honeysuckle. There's also a kind of salty, seaside note. On the palate there's honey, lemon and baked apples, which I noticed last time. But there's a bit more acidity than I remember and an ever so slightly salty/chalky taste on the finish. It still has a slightly mature Chardonnay nte to the finish, though not so pronounced as before. A very good deal at $17.

Edit A couple of hours later and I'm on the last sips. It's now less honey and baked apples, and more lemon, vanilla and cream soda. Very enjoyable.