Calluna Vineyards “CVC” Chalk Hill 2010
Seeking to make wines with Bordeaux varietals, David Jeffrey chose Chalk Hill for the location of his Calluna Vineyards when he first planted in 2004. Farming organically (non-certified) at the highest possible elevation, Jeffrey sought terroir that allowed for full fruit ripening without the need for extended hang times. With 12 acres planted just above the fog line, Jeffrey models his methodology on the wines of Saint-Emilion where he apprenticed at Château Quinault with Dr. Alan Raynaud in 2003. Opposed to the “stewed, pruny flavors which often occur when vineyards are pushed passed their limit”, Jeffrey demonstrates here with the Calluna Vineyards “CVC” 2010 that his fruit reaches “full phenolic ripeness, without excess sugar development”, for it’s purity and balance in wine that Jeffrey seeks and attains.
A blend of 44% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6 % Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, Calluna Vineyards “CVC” 2010 was fermented with native yeasts in a traditional Bordelaise style, in open-top tanks, before being aged for 21 months in 100% French oak, 25% of which is new. Densely planted to soils of shale and sandstone, the fruit is harvested a little earlier than that of his peers, which has come to include the likes of the Lurton family of Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem in recent years.
Earthy with aromas of fresh horseradish, black cherries, and dark berries and plum, the “CVC” is bright with acidity and silky tannins, with black pepper spice on the finish. Of the 2010 vintage, Stephen Tanzer wrote:
Medium-deep bright red. Nuanced, inviting nose offers scents of cherry, redcurrant, tobacco, loam and mocha, lifted by subtle pepper and floral notes. Silky on entry, then sharply delineated and youthfully tight in the middle, with excellent energy to the redcurrant, cherry and fresh herb flavors. This will need time to unwind but it’s nonetheless the most showy of these 2010 releases today. Finishes with building tannins and excellent length.