2018 Chardonnay Belle Pente Vineyard
The 2018 vintage of our Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay is a great example of the potential for Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. Initial notes of almond, clover honey and honeysuckle open up into juicy yellow plum, lemon, and clementine. The wine widens on the palate and then is brought to a potent mineral finish like wet stones and oyster shell. This vintage is a little riper and deeper than others we've made, and it brings the grape's Burgundy roots to mind but with an Oregon interpretation. The racy minerality continues to unfold 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.
This astonishing wine does for Oregon Chardonnay what Cayuse has done for Oregon Syrah—utterly reinvented it. Thick with flavors of mashed pears, peaches and sweet lemons, it's big but still nuanced. Scents and streaks of flower pollen, lemon meringue, baking spices and more make this compelling wine both fascinating and challenging. Winemaker Brianne Day ferments with native yeast in one-third new puncheon and two-thirds neutral barrels. This is simply stunning.
95 Points PAUL GREGUTT, Wine Enthusiast