2019 Koosah Vineyard - Chardonnay
flint, citrus, rainwater, iodine, tree bark, fresh herbs—bright, mouth-filling velvety palate, taught and focused yet also generous—persistent, resonant finish—think 'Puligny'
ava Eola-Amity Hills
elevation / aspect 800-985 ft, southeast-facing 22% slope
soils Volcanic Basalt (Jory, Parrett & Witzel series)
planted 2016—Intermixed clones Dijon 76 and 95
farming Dry-Farmed, Organic management
harvest October 2, 2019
Press regime whole cluster, oxidative juice handling (without sulfur)
elevage 21 months in 228L & 400L Oregon & French cooperage (0% new)
bottled July 15, 2021, Unfined, 13.3% Alc.
cases produced 158 (750ml x12)
The Eola-Amity Hills is situated to the immediate east of the Van Duzer Corridor, the "air-conditioning" pathway through the Coast Range where marine air enters from the west and cools the Willamette Valley. At the top of the ava sits Koosah Vineyard, one of the highest and riskiest plantings in the WV. This "magnum opus" project of Kevin Chambers—who is somewhat of a living legend of a vine grower here—is without argument one of the most thoughtfully and meticulously-planted vineyards in the WV. Ripening here is patient and Fall rains will almost always threaten the harvest (but many of our vineyard sites are that way too and it seems to lead to the most compelling wines). The early results at Koosah are striking. At the time of this writing, I am now three vintages into a relationship with this fascinating site. Acid retention is showing to be exceptional, with no lack of rich fruit character, and aromatics are remarkably lifted and expressive. The Parrett soil (shallow, rocky volcanic basalt) provides appropriate stress to the plants, resulting in sparse canopies and loose clusters with small berries and thick skins because of plentiful wind and sun exposure. The 2019s are the very first wines from Koosah and with a highly talented group of winemakers involved you will surely here more about Koosah Pinot noir and Chardonnay.
the Growing Season
The weather in September and October largely determines the character of the vintage in the Willamette Valley. 2019 wasn't a particularly hot or cold growing season, nor particularly wet or dry. but conditions turned cool and moist in early September, slowing the pace of sugar accumulation while allowing phenolic ripeness to advance. We patiently waited through multiple storm cycles before the sun came out again and a beautiful picking window opened up in late September and early October. A smaller than average crop reached a terrific balance with perfect phenolic maturity (browning seeds and lignified stems) achieved at low sugar accumulations (and therefore low alcohols levels). What that translates to is wines with both flesh and bones, wines that are lithe but energe