Russian River Valley
October 8th through 16th
25.8 degree Brix
Ten months in 60 gallon French oak barrels.
July 28, 2011
2010 Chasseur Freestone Station Pinot Noir
Downloadable Spec Sheet
Chiseled focus and concentration have always been hallmarks of this bottling and the tightly-coiled 2010 follows that standard. The nose offers an aromatic mix of red raspberry, bottled cherry, pomegranate, orange zest and Panetone-like dried fruit scents, tied to others that suggest coriander seed, toasted grain and graham cracker pie crust. If as quietly exotic as the nose, the flavors carry a slightly less-hard textural impression and on the mid-palate some sweet-natured orange marmalade and vanilla cream hints add to the generosity. The finish is very long and very bright and it is here that one sees the firm tannic spine expected from this vineyard, and although this is certainly a distinctive and appealing dinner wine already, it will need several years before it fully expresses its distinctive personality.
The cool wet spring of 2010 created naturally low yields, followed by an exceptionally cold summer, possibly the coldest in a century indicating a potentially late harvest. In August our obligatory heat spell came and went but this year it was followed by another three weeks later. Our late harvest was pushed up as fruit quickly ripened, placing it in the style of 2004, dark and concentrated for Pinot Noir. A strong weather system rolled through in late October quickening the pace of harvest but by then ripeness wasn’t an issue. Production was down across the board, but the 2010 vintage turned out to be very good for Pinot Noir and an exceptional one for Chardonnay.