2016 Chardonnay Belle Pente Vineyard
The 2016 vintage of our Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay is a chameleon. Initially, notes of orange peel citrus and spice suggest a decadent wine, but these quickly give way to cool and clean aromas of honeysuckle, wintergreen, and crushed oyster shell. It's reminiscent of a top-flight premier cru Chablis with bright, focused acidity supporting green apple and tangerine flavors. The wine's Chablisiènne side shows even more in the racy minerality that unfolds with air and carries through the long, vibrant finish. All of the features of this outstanding vineyard work in concert to impart a riveting, tight-rope tension to the wine that suggests it's only just beginning to come into its own and will improve for several years in the cellar.
92+ points John Gilman in View From the Cellar: "Belle Pente Vineyard is one of the star growers in the Willamette Valley (as well as a great winery) and the 2016 chardonnay made from fruit here by Brianne Day is really lovely. Brianne raises this wine in a new oak, five hundred liter puncheon and four older Burgundy casks, so this sees very little new wood, and she does not rush the elevage, as this wine spends more than a year and a half in barrel before bottling. The 2016 version comes in at a very civilized 12.75 percent octane and delivers a fine aromatic constellation of pear, a hint of passion fruit, salty soil tones, dried flowers, fresh almond and just a whisper of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and beautifully understated in personality, with a great core of fruit, fine soil signature, zesty acids and great backend lift and grip on the long and complex finish. This is really good chardonnay that is only going to get better as it blossoms with more bottle age! 2020-2030+." (Jan/Feb 2020)