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2016 Chalone Vineyard "Estate Grown" Chalone Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $30) SKU #1426166

Price: $12.99

WE 91 W&S 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Chalone Estate is the oldest producing vineyard in Monterey County. It is also the only winery operating within the Chalone AVA. The vines are subjected to huge diurnal temperature swings (hot days and cool nights) often exceeding 50F in range. The soils here are a very poor mixture of limestone and granite with almost no top soil. This stresses the vines yielding low crop levels and powerful mineral qualities in the wines. This Pinot Noir is sourced from some of the oldest vines on the property that are planted to a mixture of heritage clones. Winemaker's Notes: "Our 2016 Estate Pinot Noir is bright ruby red in color and known for its layered flavors and complexity. It opens with juicy ripe raspberry and plum notes balanced out by hints of forest floor and warm toasty baking spice on the finish. A unique minerality neatly ties up all of these elements as a result of mature vineyards and ancient limestone soils that run through the Chalone AVA."

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Staff Reviews

  • Ralph Sands
    By: Ralph Sands
    K&L Staff Member
    If you are not familiar with the history of the Chalone Estate, all you need to know is that this land has made some of the greatest Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and lets not forget Chenin Blancs in the history of California wine. I've been thinking about those wines since I first tasted this wine with Ryan Woodhouse and I urged him to buy every bottle! He's a super sharp buyer who has experience on three continents making wine and working with Pinot and Chardonnay, so he certainly doesn't need my stamp of approval. But when we tasted the wines both of us could hardly contain our excitement for this purchase. The 2016 Estate Pinot shows the high elevation freshness on the nose. The elegant, sweet black fruit is rounded out with soft spice. Lovely texture on the palate and perfectly extracted. The wine is so pretty and absolutely delicious! Like many of you, I have been blessed to taste many fine Burgundies in my career and I would love to have our Burgundian friends taste these wines blind; I believe they would be as absolutely amazed at the quality and, after finding out the price, in shock!
  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    K&L Staff Member
    Say “hello” to what might be the best Pinot Noir buy of the year. The venerable Chalone Estate Pinot Noir normally sells for $30. But our buyer Ryan Woodhouse has put together what is undoubtedly the “feel good” offer of the year. I have fond memories of drinking Chalone Pinot Noir when I was just a budding wine enthusiast. I have a passion for the history of California wine and Chalone Estate is an integral part of it. The very first wine bottled under the Chalone label was made in 1960 by none other than wine legend Philip Togni. But, the man most responsible for the legend of Chalone is Dick Graff who purchased the winery in 1964. Together they created wine history producing exceptional Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, and a rare bottling of old-vine Chenin Blanc. Buy this one by the case.
  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    K&L Staff Member
    A winery so good, they gave it its own AVA! Chalone’s Estate Grown Pinot Noir is bright-fruited and fresh and plummy and spicy and textured and tart, with a core of acidity and oaky finish. I did a double take at the price – thought I was looking at a SKU for half-bottles! Subtly herbal and mineral-driven yet sublimely easy drinking, this 2016 is a wine not to be missed.
  • Mandana Tourani
    By: Mandana Tourani
    K&L Staff Member
    Fresh plums, sweet cherries and savory spices on the nose. Candied Bing cherries, baking spices and candied rose petals on the palate. Medium body, silky, and soft. For a great price, this Pinot Noir definitely delivers above and beyond.
  • Lilia McIntosh
    By: Lilia McIntosh
    K&L Staff Member
    This was certainly a highlight of a crazy busy day at work! Bright and fresh style of Pinot Noir with juicy raspberry and pomegranate notes and savory, slightly earthy background. It's so silky in texture, it glides seamlessly from start to finish. A truly remarkable wine, that brings so much joy and pleasure for an incredibly low price. I think this wine will for sure please everybody's palate: it's friendly and easy to drink, yet super interesting and has lovely nuances that keep you wanting for more.
  • Tim Telli
    By: Tim Telli
    K&L Staff Member
    Of all the historic wine growing regions of California, few have had as much impact as Chalone. Next to the Pinnacles National Park, high above the Salinas Valley, and across from the mighty Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, you will find Chalone Winery. While the land was originally planted to vines in 1919, the current Chalone label started in 1960 with the first vintage made by Napa Valley icon Philip Togni. This may very well be some of the best terroir in California due to the old volcanoes and uplifted seabeds that left behind limestone and decomposed granite soils. in it with a hot and dry climate. This is a tiny AVA with only about seven vineyards, and Chalone Vineyard is by far the largest, yet is still relatively small. The winery is on an upward trajectory with new owners and investment. There is huge potential here. The wine has plenty of dark-fruited Pinot flavors with the classic Chalone acid and structure profile framing the wine nicely. Complex with flavors of sagebrush and spice, and a good amount of oak giving nice texture to the finish. At this price people should load up on a case for drinking immediately and let some rest for enjoyment over the years to come. Chalone Pinots from the late '70s and early '80s are still drinking well today! This is a special spot for Pinot Noir.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    I thought this was a solid buy at its original price — coming in at less than half is just absurd. You HAVE to buy this wine. Bright and vivid right from the get-go, ripe cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate fly across your palate with abandon. The acidity is palpable in the best way, so you don't have to shy away from richer cuts of meat with this bad boy. Fresh herbs and silty minerals on the finish combine with its elegant, mouth-coating texture, and you have a recipe for the perfect weeknight red; it pairs with just anything, from cured meats to your latest Netflix binge. I cannot stress enough how much this over-performs for the price point. Best bang for the buck in Pinot Noir I've seen to date.
  • Stefanie Juelsgaard
    By: Stefanie Juelsgaard
    K&L Staff Member
    With the store being temporarily closed, we aren't getting much time to try new bottles these days. But with a little luck today, we were able to get our hands on a bottle of this Chalone Pinot, and it made my day. Chalone has always had one of the most unique growing sites, with incredibly unique soil structure. That, combined with the large diurnal temperature swings, gives this wine fantastic length, interest, and that kiss of bright minerality. These sites are incredibly difficult to farm and the amount of labor that goes into this wine is not reflected in this crazy low price. There is no other under-$15 domestic Pinot on the shelf right now that is better than this one, period. Buy by the case for an everyday drinker, though I believe the taste screams far more sophisticated than I would imagine for everyday.
    Top Value!
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    This is one of the most incredible deals I've ever seen during my time as a wine professional. We just scooped up this iconic wine, from one of the most fascinating vineyard sites in all of the "New World" for a fraction of its typical price. Sourced from old vine blocks on the estate dating back to the 60s and 70s, Chalone Estate is one of the most historic plantings of old heritage clone Pinot Noir in the country. The soil here is a unique mix of decomposed granite and limestone pushed up by the San Andreas fault. When this remote, high elevation vineyard was first planted in 1919 its founders understood that it was a unique terroir destined to produce highly distinctive wines. 101 years later Chalone fruit is still highly sought after even by today's youngest, most avant-garde winemakers. Chalone's relatively warm climate for Pinot Noir gives the wine plenty of power and concentration whilst the soils impart and distinct mineral component, heritage clones add yet another layer of intrigue and structure. Please don't be suspicious of the unusually low price here...this wine is direct from the winery who offered us an almost too good to be true, one time price, to move through some inventory in these uncertain and unprecedented times. The wine is excellent and from one of California's truly unique places to grow grapes.
    Top Value! Drink from 2020 to 2030


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