For this Monterey Vineyards Pinot Noir the winemakers at Chalone selected the grapes from two vineyards near Chualar, in the northernmost part of Monterey County, and one vineyard just a little further south in Greenfield. Known as one of the most if not the most temperamental grape varietal, Pinot Noir demands cool conditions to develop its richly nuanced flavors. Located on the Salinas Valley's bench lands, these vines begin their day bathed in morning sun and calm tranquility. Every afternoon, they stand against strong, cold Pacific Ocean winds that slow ripening and develop grapes with deep color, intense flavors and lively acidity.After night harvesting the fruit, they first cold soaked the partially crushed Pinot Noir berries for gentle extraction of flavors, color and tannins. Following the primary fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the wine was pressed, and then completed malolactic fermentation to naturally round the acidity. Aged nine months in French oak the flavors integrated with the aromatic spices of the barrels, while the tannins developed their supple, silky quality. The wine shows bright aromas of black cherry and toasty vanilla. The ripe flavors that are are characteristic of the outstanding 2013 vintage are on full display through the palate and the long lingering finish. This is one of the best Pinot Noir values we've ever come across.