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2021 Koosah Vineyard - Chardonnay

2021 Koosah Vineyard - Chardonnay


our tasting notes

lemon oil, green apple, moss & white flower, wet soil, iodine—remarkable textural tension between fruit, minerality & acidity—so balanced, the finish lingers for minutes—think 'Puligny'


Decanter: 96 Points

Clive Pursehouse, US Editor

Another stunning 2021 vintage Chardonnay from the Eola-Amity AVA, this site Koosah sits at the region's highest planted elevations. Great mineral lift introduces this wine with a beautiful depth of complexity. Aromatics of crushed chalk and lemon pith swerve towards more layered savoury notes of petrichor, smoked salt and struck flint. There is a beautiful tension across the palate, marked by a graceful balance between fleshy stone fruits and streaks of thirst-slaking minerality—a fantastic culmination of the terroir's elements.


ava: Eola-Amity Hills

elevation / aspect: 900-1020 ft, south-east facing 26% slope

soils: Volcanic Basalt (Parrett series)

planted: 2016—Intermixed clones 76 & 95

farming: Dry-Farmed, Organic management

harvest dates: Sept. 10, 12 & 15, 2021

Press regime: whole cluster, oxidative juice handling (without sulfur)

elevage: 14 months, avg. barrel age 6-7 years

bottled: Dec. 15, 2022, without fining,13.2% Alc.‒ 6.9 ta‒3.18 ph‒0.1 g/l rs


the Terroir

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 very top elevation of the ava sits Koosah Vineyard‒in the Coast Salish dialect the name "koosah" means "beautiful ceiling of the sky". This "magnum opus" project of grower Kevin Chambers is without question one of the most thoughtfully-planted (and riskiest) vineyards in the Willamette's history. Ripening here is patiently late and Fall rains will almost always threaten the harvest...yet that risk also offers rewards. The high elevation makes for strong diurnal shifts between cold nights and warm daytime temps with extra uv intensity. This alternation gives ripe fruit expression matched to bright acidity, with aromatics that are lifted and fresh. The Parrett soil (rocky volcanic basalt with shallow topsoil) provides balanced stress to the plants, resulting in sparse canopies and loose clusters, good wind and sun exposure, and ultimately small berries with thick skins‒all of which combines to give the wines structure, framing and definition. Martin Woods is one of the very few producers who have the privilege to work with these vines and we are quite thankful for the privilege.   


the Growing Season

A classic shift to cooler temps and occasional moisture of moderate intensity in late-September and early October brought the 2021 growing season to a beautiful conclusion. Despite some significant heats spikes in mid-Summer, the vines supported a good crop of clean fruit (medium-small berries with thick skins) with balanced flavors and phenolic maturity. We were immediately pleased in the winery with what we thought promised exceptional quality...which has proven true. The vintage has always shown a precocious resolution of structure that makes the wines delightful in youth, while also certainly possessing long cellaring potential.


notes on Winemaking

picked Sept. 10, 12 & 15, 2021. Whole cluster pressed, oxidative juice handling without sulfur. Primary fermentation (spontaneous, no yeast added) in tank, then stirred and moved (with lees) to barrel. Aged 14 months (6 months without sulfur) on lees (no battonage) in 228L & 400L Oregon and French  cooperage (average age 6-7 years). Racked clean and bottled without fining on Dec. 15, 2022,13.2% Alc.‒ 6.9 ta‒3.18 ph‒0.1 g/l rs


about Martin Woods

Martin Woods is hidden in the oak-forested foothills of Oregon's Coast Range, within the cool-climate McMinnville AVA, Willamette Valley. Martin Woods is both the home and winery for winemaker/vigneron Evan Martin, who has been driven by a passion since 2009 for discovering the most compelling terroir in Oregon. Elegant Pinot noir and Chardonnay are the focus of the portfolio, but Riesling, Gruner, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are more than proving extremely exciting for exploration. Evan’s small team farms according to sustainable, wholistic principles and the growers he partner's with are of the same mindset. The winemaking methods are delicate and natural, but of greatest importance is that a Martin Woods wine promotes the classic qualities of purity, balance, complexity and fine structure that can only result from great terroir combined with wholehearted dedication to art and craft. Above all, it is the hope that the wines evoke a consistent and inspiring sense-of-place, an authentic Oregon voice.


May your wine journey be full of love, laughter and adventure,

sincerely, Evan Martin

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