2022 Lucia by Pisoni, Chardonnay “Estate Cuvée” Santa Lucia Highlands.
The 2022 Lucia Chardonnay Estate Cuvée from the Santa Lucia Highlands by winemaker Jeff Pisoni is absolutely brilliant and rewarding with luxurious texture and crystalline focus, showing off the quality and class that Pisoni has become famous for. The full bodied palate shows off golden apple, Bosc pear and white peach fruits, along with lemon curd, clove spice, hazelnut, vanilla and saline infused stone accents. This straw gold hued Chardonnay is pure class and delivers loads of terroir and textural pleasure, one of the best Chardonnays so far from this vintage, and I can’t for the 2023 version, which looks set to be a legendary vintage. Grown exclusively from our Pisoni and Soberanes vineyards, the Lucia Estate Cuvée of Chardonnay is a wonderful representation of our estate vineyards. The limited-production Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented with native yeast and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels, with about 11 months in 40% new wood. Jeff Pisoni’s Santa Rosa state-of-the-art winemaking facility, where he and his wife make their collection of awesome wines, uses gravity flow as part of a custom design, which was conceived to merge the estate vineyards and winery, allowing him also to have more time with his wines throughout the winemaking and aging process.

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, arguably made famous by Gary Pisoni and his family, and their wines, is part of the western mountains of the Salinas Valley and is now Monterey’s most prized appellation these days. This range faces east, receiving the gentle morning sunshine and enjoys the cold climate conditions from the near by Pacific Ocean. Pisoni says their Southeastern-facing bench lands sits in and above that morning fog and is cooled by coastal breezes funneled in from the deep depths of the Monterey Bay. Grown exclusively from their Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes vineyards, the Lucia Estate Cuvée Chardonnay, the Pisoni’s add, is, like their Pinot version, a wonderful representation of the family’s estate vineyards, of which each block is cultivated to the same high standards. As part of their wine growing process, overseen by Mark Pisoni, they select certain vineyard blocks for this wine, with Jeff Pisoni designating particular lots of free-run wine and hand-select barrels to be devoted to each of Santa Lucia Highlands cuvées, like this one, with the goal to create a “world-class” appellation blend. These wines are handcrafted to capture the essence of the cool-climate Santa Lucia Highlands AVA that the family has been farming since 1982.The difficult 2022 vintage, which started cool and ended extremely hot, has higher than average concentration, as the Pisoni’s note, but still with vibrant aromatics and fresh detail, thanks to extra diligence in the vineyards and cool nighttime picking. I tasted through a few of the Lucia Spring/Summer releases and I highly recommend all of them, and this one should not be missed!
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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