The Importance of Being a Willamette Valley Chardonnay
#WineStudio Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PDT
When you think of the Willamette Valley (it's Willamette, dammit!), you probably think of world-class Pinot Noir, and you wouldn't be wrong. With 11,053 acres planted, fabulous Pinots come out every vintage, year after year. But the Valley has a lighter side as well, with over 3,400 acres of white grape varietals planted, 684 of which are Chardonnay. Yes, Chardonnay. The November WineStudio gets into the Chardonnay renaissance in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, citing terroir, sustainability, biodynamics, philosophy, adventure and the future of Oregon Chardonnay.
Week 2 brought J.K. Carriere, as well as Matello Wines and Goodfellow Family Cellars, both helmed by proprietor and winemaker Marcus Goodfellow (clearly a man with a sense of humor: Matello (rhymes with cello) is an Italian word meaning "little fool").
J.K. Carriere 2012 Lucidité Willamette Valley Chardonnay: 100% whole cluster pressed; barrel aged on its lees for 18 months in older French oak barrels; pale gold color; apple, citrus, and mineral aromas; green apple, pear, spice, citrus and stone flavors; 13.5% ABV; cork closure; 220 cases produced; SRP $32. I agree with Jim Prosser's quote on this wine: “A surfboard of ripe getting rolled by a wave of acid!”
Goodfellow Family 2012 Whistling Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay: Aged for 20 months in 100% French oak, 50% new; apple, pear, and spice aromas; apple, pear, stone fruit, citrus and spice flavors; 14.1% ABV; 80 cases produced; SRP $36.
Matello Wines 2012 Durant Vineyards Chardonnay: Sourced from non-irrigated vineyards; aged 15 months in French oak, 30% new; pale gold color; stone fruit, citrus, mineral, and sweet honey aromas; stone fruit, green apple, spice and stone flavors; 13.5% ABV; 150 cases produced; SRP $29.Another week of highly tasty Chardonnays from Oregon. Pinot Noir, watch out.
PROTOCOL #WineStudio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and tasting, with discussions on producers, varieties, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food matching and what all this means to us as imbibers.
Wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.
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