Another online wine tasting, this time featuring Chamisal Vineyards from Edna Valley. Chamisal was the first vineyard in the Edna Valley, planted in 1973. Edna Valley is within the Central Coast AVA, south of San Luis Obispo and a few miles from the coast up against the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Originally named Chamisal Vineyards when established, named for the Chamise, a native flowering shrub the winery stopped production a few years later. It was purchased in the early 1990s and became Domaine Alfred. Then in 2008 it was purchased by the current owners and renamed to the original Chamisal Vineyards.
They grow mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with some Syrah, Grenache and Pinot Gris to round out their offerings. The area is dry and rocky but gets a cooling influence from the nearby Pacific Ocean. This allows the grapes a longer ripening time before picking. We tasted four wines from Chamisal Vineyards, two Chardonnays and a Pinot Noir and a Grenache.
The first wine was the 2011 Stainless Chardonnay. A nice light yellow color, the nose was pure Chardonnay, apples and tropical fruit. Great acidity, really crisp green and red apple flavors and a long clean finish. At 13.5% abv. this is a wine you can enjoy any time.
Next we tried the 2010 Edna Valley Chardonnay. This wine spent fourteen months in 26% new oak. A slightly darker yellow than the Stainless Chardonnay the nose was apples and spicy notes from the oak, maybe even some cloves in there. There were rich flavors of ripe fruit and spice with a crisp finish. There is something else in the flavor I can’t describe but is very enjoyable.
Now we moved on to one of the reds, the 2010 Edna Valley Pinot Noir. As a Pinot should be, it was a light to medium ruby color. Smells like a Pinot Noir, earthy, with some cherries and cranberries. Light smooth tannins, I picked up a little heat from the alcohol, though. That should go away in a few minutes as it sits in the glass. Good acidity, plenty of flavor, cherries, other red fruit and spice. The finish is quite pleasant with the fruit and spiciness. The blend of ten clones adds complexity to this wine.
Our last wine was the 2009 Edna Valley Grenache. The wine is 100% Grenache and has a nice medium ruby color. There are strawberry and other fruit notes in the nose along with a little spice. Moderate tannins and red cherry and red plum flavors along with a little vanilla. The finish is long with flavor and a slight bitterness from the tannins which I am sure will go away with a little aging.
Overall some nice wines from an area we have never really explored. We will have to look for more Edna Valley wines to try.
Disclaimer: These wines were provided to us as tasting samples.