Bona fides: Some years ago, when I was a volunteer sysop on Jim Kronman's WINEFORUM on CompuServe, Chalone gave me six-bottle mini-cases of their second label Gavilan Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I've been kindly disposed towards them since.
First smell that meets the nose is oak, and plenty of it. It's difficult to smell anything underneath that, perhaps some cherry. Cherry flavor, bacon, plum. Oak flavor builds in the finish.
The next day it's still austere on the fruit, extravagant with the oak.
One thing that hasn't changed over the years, Chalone still pays homage to Burgundian wine, but with a Californian accent.
I'd buy again for $16.29, but not a full case of these, a few bottles. Interesting and fun. I believe it'd improve with a few years of cellaring, but I have no place to do that.
3 hours ago