2019 Yamhill Valley Vineyard - Chardonnay
flint, cheese rind, lemon, apple, pear, spice—remarkable tension and intensity—textured, balanced, resonant—a delightfully complex and refreshing wine
elevation / aspect 340 - 450 ft, south-facing 20% slope
soils series Dixonville, Gellatly, Witzel (volcanic basalt)
planted 2003—Intermixed clones Dijon 76 and 95
harvest Sept. 21 & Oct. 2, 2019
Press regime whole cluster, oxidative juice handling (without sulfur)
elevage 21 months in 228L & 400L Oregon & French cooperage (neutral)
bottled July 15, 2021, Unfined, 13.3% Alc.
cases produced 190 (750ml x12)
Yamhill Valley Vineyard is positioned within the McMinnville ava in the foothills of the Coast Range, along the edge of the Van Duzer Corridor—the "air-conditioning" pathway through the Coast Range where cool marine air pours in from the ocean 30 miles away. The cooling winds and cool mountain air translate to Chardonnay with refreshing, intense qualities. The shallow volcanic soils and steep, south-facing slope of the Fromage and Hilltop blocks have little water-holding capacity, causing stress to the vines and resulting in sparse canopies and loose clusters of unusually small, sun-kissed, thick-skinned chardonnay berries, giving tremendous depth and texture to the wine. Our goal for Chardonnay is to achieve a tension between expressive fruit, vibrant acidity, and subtle yet complex aromas. This exceptional block of vines offers a balance of depth, breadth and focus that amazes us every year.
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 energetic, structure-driven wines with complex textures, bright acidity and a core of elegant fruit. 2019 is a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage and we couldn't be more excited about it. The wines are highly enjoyable now and also highly cellar-worthy for 10-25+ years.
notes on Winemaking
picked Sept. 21 and October 2, 2019 at 20.8 - 21.1 brix, 3.10-3.12 pH. Whole cluste