2021 Pearlstad Vineyard - Chardonnay
marine air, bosc pear, subtle spice—fresh, salty and tense—remarkably refined and resonant—long cellaring potential
ava: Eola-Amity Hills
elevation / aspect: 400-500 ft, southwest slope
soils series: steiwer & chehulpum (marine sediments, shallow to bedrock)
planted: 2016, clonal selections 76, 96 and 548
harvest dates: Sept. 8th, 11th & 15th, 2021
Press regime: whole cluster, oxidative juice handling (without sulfur)
elevage: 14 months in 228L & 400L Oregon & French cooperage (neutral)
bottled: Dec. 15, 2022, without fining, 12.9% Alc.‒ 6.5 ta‒3.23 ph‒0.7 g/l rs
The Eola-Amity Hills is situated to the immediate east of the Van Duzer Corridor—the "air-conditioning" pathway through the Coast Range where ocean air enters from the west and cools the Willamette Valley. In the direct path of the breeze sits Pearlstad Vineyard, a sloping ridge where ancient landslides have exposed marine layers and fossil rocks with striking clarity. The soils are well drained and provide balanced but significant stress to the vines. This induces restrained leaf-canopy growth and a limited crop of small clusters with good sunlight exposure and air flow reaching the berries and thicking their skins. those thick skins lead to textural complexity in the wine, as does a mixed planting of multiple clonal selections. I am delighted by the distinct saline / salty / mineral expression evident in the wines and the purity and delicacy of fruit resulting from the windy, cool climate. I am honored to collaborate at this remarkable terroir with growers Ken Pearlman and Dana Baker. we all look to the future with great expectations of quality.
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. 8, 11 & 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 8 years). Racked clean and bottled without fining on Dec. 15, 2022,12.9% Alc.‒ 6.5 ta‒3.23 ph‒0.7 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.