The 2019 Reserve Chardonnay is made up entirely of our estate-grown, 76 Dijon Clone grapes. Our Winemaker, Don Crank III allowed this wine to mature up to 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels. The result, a complex wine comparable to a traditionally made white Burgundy.
The 2019 season began with a winter that was cold and wet, but was followed by a warm spring. Near record precipitation amounts during late June and early July brought increased disease pressure to the estate vineyard. The 2019 harvest will be mostly remembered for the early rains in September and rapid cool down into October which attempted to force winemakers’ hands across the Willamette Valley. Degree-day totals were marked by the lowest heat accumulation experienced in September and October since 2007. While waiting for flavors to set, higher humidity caused some damage in the Pinot noir blocks. Suspect bunches were meticulously culled with several passes in the field dropping fruit and long hours were spent on the sorting table making sure only the best fruit made it to tank. In the end, all of the hard work proved worthwhile as the wines show classic Oregon Pinot Noir flavors of hibiscus and dusty cherry, but with exceptional length and elegant textures. The first vintage of Chardonnay to be harvested from the estate vineyard was bright, lean and fruity. However, there were a few barrels of the clone 76 had truly exceptional qualities, enough to mark them as our first ever Reserve bottling of Chardonnay. Our first vintage of Syrah harvested from Cockburn vineyard on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA was allowed to hang a bit longer than their previous vintages as the area had a dry but cooler harvest conditions. This beautiful Syrah fruit has made an amazing barrel aged wine.