2020 exuded significant promise with mild temperatures and cold nights to preserve the bright acidity typical of the valley and coast. Though frost was concerning in low-lying areas, most of the winery vineyards are on hills and ridgetops, which remained unaffected. Springtime rains threatened fruitset, but at the same time was welcome coming out of a very dry winter – dry winters often make for great growing seasons, provided you have the water. Although smoke from the wildfires damaged our entire red wine crop, excellent concentration and very clean fruit made for stellar Chardonnay that will be age-worthy with high acids and pleasantly ripe fruit characters.
“The 2020 Tenth Stop Chardonnay needs a lot of coaxing to reveal notes of grapefruit oil, green mango, and lime leaves with hints of sea spray, lime blossom, and wet pebbles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is very tightly wound with bright citrusy flavors and loads of mineral sparks, finishing with epic length. This comes from Joe Dutton’s (of Dutton Ranch) house vineyard, which he calls Dutton Palms. This site was originally planted in 1978, and this Old Wente clone Chardonnay was planted in 1991. Occidental – the hometown of all three Senses owners – was the tenth stop on the railroad from San Francisco, hence the name.”
– 97pts, Lisa Perrotti-Brown