Lately, the Chardonnays have been cleaned out for a month or two between releases [the Chardonnay shelves are looking pretty ‘dry’]. I don’t know if it has more to do with the positive press the Chardonnays have received recently or the increasing satisfaction of those who have been drinking them. The two vineyard–specific bottlings, Helfer and Scherrer, are like two variations of a breed of dog: one coated and the other smooth coated. [No, they don’t smell like dogs.] The Scherrer presents itself a little leaner and more penetrating, while the Helfer is more layered and textural.
While the 2011 vintage presented challenges very late in the season, both Chardonnay vineyards were harvested well before any thought of rain surfaced. It captures a really nice, cool growing season which shows most in the crisp acidic backbone that carries the wine’s pear, citrus zest notes with great continuity. There is nice texture and some roasted grain nuance that support the fruit not unlike how a pie crust supports the filling. I really love where it is right now, even at this very early stage with only one year in bottle.