In 2006 we started sourcing Chardonnay grapes from a different AVA and vineyard each vintage with hopes of gaining insight into the influences of both soil and site on this classic varietal. In recent years we have narrowed our focus to the Chehalem Mountains and specifically Chehalem Mountain Vineyard located on a lovely little hillock between a southern knuckle of the Chehalem Mountains proper and its sub-AVA Ribbon Ridge. Here soil is marine sedimentary and slope south-facing at 450 feet. Clonal selections is old Wente and 76 both tried and true expressions of Oregon chardonnay. The site’s provenance is its adjacency to the spot where Dick Erath planted his first Chardonnay in 1974.
The grapes were hand harvested on September 22th, 2014 gently whole bunch pressed and sent directly to barrels for primary fermentation. The wine was encouraged through malolactic fermentation and kept on lees for 10 months prior to bottling in August 2015.
Finish Chemistry: 14.1% alcohol, 5.9 g/L TA and 3.32pH
Our 2014 Chehalem Mountains Chardonnay shows lifted aromas of Tuscan melon, fresh sweet pea, honeysuckle, Ataulfo mango, toasted cashew and turmeric. The palate is textural and rich but shows restraint and containment with line drive acidity and keel. Succulent and nutty with notes of lemon curd, blood orange, saffron and spice the wines’ finish is persistent and crisp ending with citrus, saline and stone fruit.