In a nutshell: An excellent, carefully oaked and rich premium Californian Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey.
The lowdown: Made by famed Californian winemaker Jeff Pisoni, in collaboration with Gary Franscioni, this, their highly sort after 'Lucia' Chardonnay, is a blend of fruit from the Pisoni and Soberanes Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County. Carefully oaked in French barrels, this is a rich Chardonnay with plenty of fresh acidity leading to a well balanced and clean palate. There are intense aromas of lemon zest, brioche, floral notes and vibrant citrus which precede a full-bodied and rounded mouthfeel with a long lingering finish.
When to drink: The richness and body here will go well fish like turbot, or meats likes veal, pork and poultry. And it's lovely with foie gras.
Based in the Salinas Valley, south of California's Monterey Bay the Pisoni family have been farming in this area since 1952. However it was when the second generation of the family in the shape of the maverick figure of Gary Pisoni started growing grapes in the surrounding highland areas in 1982 that their vineyard business first got going. And it wasn't long before people started to take notice of what he was up to.
Over the following years Gary has built a reputation as one of the most skillful exponents in the art of Pinot Noir in California and along with his sons Mark, now vineyard manager, and Jeff, winemaker they run one of California's most respected and high quality wineries. In all they have around 40 acres of vines spread across 20 distinctive parcels. And while Pinot Noir remains an undimmed passion for them, they also grow some exceptional Syrah and Chardonnay. They have two main labels; Pisoni Estate and Lucia both of which are a byword for excellence in Californian winemaking.