The grapes for CLDT’s 2010s were hand harvested between mid-September and mid-October. After an extended cold soak, the fruit underwent traditional vinification methods including foot crushing, whole cluster fermentations with native yeast, malolactic fermentation on the lees and gravity transfer (no pumping). The wines were aged in Francois Frères barrels (Bertrange Forest) for 12 months and bottled unfiltered. Below are recent scores from the Wine Enthusiast and the Critics Challenge.
2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates 93 Points Cellar Selection
Coming from one of the more tech-savvy yet Old World-practicing producers, this still-emerging wine smells of autumn. Crushed, dried-leaf aromas meld seamless with wet clay, black lava rocks and juniper. A lean line of black cherry-blackberry syrup drives the palate, which picks up black peppercorn, anise, dark chocolate and pine-sprinkled earth. Drink 2018–2030.
2010 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud 95 Points
Black-cherry fruit shows on the nose of this bottling by Silicon Valley veterans T.J. and Valeta Rodgers, but it is deftly hidden behind layers of earth and herbs, from dark clay and black pepper to budding violets and rosemary. The acidity is slowly simmering on the palate, unleashing flavors of dark chocolate, cinnamon, more rosemary, blackberry and pencil-lead minerality.
2010 Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope 95 Points
Aromas of plum, black cherry and mulberry are enhanced by crushed graphite, clove dust, scarlet rose petals and menthol on the nose of this bottling. The palate reveals a stunning amount of depth, with eucalyptus leaf, white sage, violet petals, rose hips and pine needles giving depth to the rich black-plum fruit.
2010 Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge 95 Points Cellar Selection
Dark clay, vanilla bean, Vietnamese cinnamon, black gravel, kola nut, marjoram, smoked tobacco and black plum notes come into play on the nose of this stellar bottling from a 1,700-foot vineyard atop the appellation. It’s rich in lush tannic texture but not overripe in flavors, with black cherry fruit laying a base for black pepper, juniper, sage and crushed slate.
CRITICS CHALLENGE INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
2010 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud 92 Points (Gold Medal)
2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates 93 Points (Gold Medal)