Tuesday, August 23, 2011
In 2001 the winery was purchased by Tim Slater, who set about revitalising both the vines and the brand. The estate vineyards were replanted or retrellised, the buildings were renovated and extended, and a stack of brand new high-tech equipment was installed including a neat compact bottling line and a small but sophisticated laboratory. The winery currently produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their estate vineyards and the Santa Cruz Mountains. They also source a range of Rhone varieties from the nearby Besson Vineyard, itself notable for providing Grenache to Bonny Doon's Cigare Volant for over 20 vintages.
The good news is that the 2007 Sarah's Vineyard Estate Chardonnay is far more reasonably priced than it would have been 10 years ago - $30 at the winery, but I've seen it as low as $20 at retail. It shows lots of toasty oak on the nose; On the palate there's apricot, lemon, cream and vanilla, with a rich, almost oily mouthfeel. The oak is very prominent on the finish. Despite its youth this bottle was already starting to show some mature notes; given the low acidity I wouldn't plan on holding it for more than another year. 88