The 2020 Chardonnays from Testarossa Winery

Bill Brosseau, the talented winemaker at Diana and Rob Jensen’s Testarossa Winery, crafts very flavorful Chardonnays sourced from some of the best vineyards along California’s Central Coast, especially the Santa Lucia Highlands.  As with the 2019 Chardonnays we wrote about last year, these are well crafted wines harvested at optimal ripeness and made to balance rich flavors with fresh acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Fortunately, the Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnays reviewed here were harvested before the 2020 Monterey fires.  We’ll be reviewing the current releases of Testarossa Pinot Noirs next.

Santa Lucia Highlands

Testarossa 2021 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands ($44) 92  The beautifully balanced Santa Lucia Highlands blend shows scents of ripe tropical and stone fruit with a dash of honeyed oak. In the mouth, it’s creamy with fresh, ripe flavors of citrus and baked orchard fruit and good acidity. Optimal combination of oak and luscious fruit. Similar in many respects to the 2019 vintage of this wine. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. pH 3.17, 14.2% alc.

Testarossa 2020 Chardonnay Fogstone Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($53) 94+  The hedonistic Fogstone Vineyard Chardonnay has always been one of our favorites, and the 2020 vintage doesn’t disappoint. It’s elegant with a lush, silky texture. Orchard fruit with hints of ripe mango and well-integrated oak are complemented by a sense of stony minerality. Finishes long and seamless. From 27-year-old vines of several different clones (mostly Hudson, 95, 76); matured 21 months in 50% new French oak.

Testarossa 2020 Chardonnay Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($53) 93  The Lone Oak Chardonnay is mineral driven and dense. Firmly structured, there’s superb integration of fruit and oak Sourced from 46-year-old, all Wente clone vines grown on alluvial loam at 250-400? with an east orientation; matured 21 months in 34% new French oak. pH 3.16, 14.2% alc. More minerals on this one. Less overt feruit and oak. Nice firm backbone. Dense on palate, thick extract, good depth. Very rich long finish. Superb integration. Nothing sticks out superb integration. Outstanding. 94. Acidity ore apparent. Some tartness on finish. Little hazel nut character. Lots of oak but not apparent….greaet winemaking.

Testarossa 2020 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($53) 92  Opening with an expressive nose of Chardonnay fruit and oak spice followed by a very fresh attack. A firm palate reveals bright flavor of Asian pear, orchard fruit and vanilla. The finish is rich, almost unctuous and quite dry. Very well done. Sourced from 12-year-old vines grown at 400? altitude with an East/Northeast orientation; matured 20 months in 43% new French oak. pH 3.27, 14.2% alc.

Arroyo Grande Valley

Testarossa 2020 Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($53) 93  Starbright medium yellow. Toasty nose with lemon meringue and cling peach aromas. Silky, refined mouth feel with fine, firm structure, and pure ripe yellow fruit flavors. Noticeable oak on a medium weight palate; seamlessly integrated with pure fresh yellow fruit, finishing long with lingering freshness.  All Clone 4 sourced from 35-year-old vines in shallow calcareous clay soils at 400? altitude; whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak. Matured in 50% new French oak for 19 months.  pH 3.41 Rincon is the first vineyard planted (self-rooted) in 1984 by the Talley family.

Tête de Cuvée

Testarossa 2020 Diana’s Chardonnay California ($81) 94  Similar to the 2019 vintage of Diana’s with its opulent texture but with fruit a little more reserved. Silky, round and full palate of dried mango, apple and hazelnut with citrus like acidity. Beautifully integrated and luxurious. Sourced from sustainable and organic vineyards in the Chalone, Arroyo Grande Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, and Santa Lucia Highlands AVAs, fermented and aged 17 months in 62% new French oak. pH 3.31, 14.2% alc.

Source :

The 2020 Chardonnays from Testarossa Winery  
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