2013 Washington State Chardonnay
This 2013 Washington State Chardonnay was produced from Celilo Vineyard chardonnay (Wente clone) grown in the Columbia River Gorge and Woodward Canyon Estate chardonnay (Clone 108) in the northwestern corner of the Walla Walla Valley. The grapes were harvested by hand, sorted, and whole cluster pressed. The yield averaged around 2.5 tons per acre, with all grapes harvested by early October. This 2013 Washington State Chardonnay reflects the vintage well. The Walla Walla Valley influence is noticeable even with a small percentage of fruit from the Estate Vineyard due to its richer character; Celilo brings the elegance, balance and length.
This wine was fermented in 100% French burgundy barrels; roughly 20% new. Beautifully mature flavors of ripe pear, apple, and peach marry perfectly with wonderful acidity. Whole cluster pressing gives delineated fruit which integrates beautifully with notes of vanilla, mineral and toasted hazelnut. Finally, the oak is understated by our choice and is in wonderful proportion with the alcohol, fruit and acidity.
Fully mature fruit shows in the mouth; the texture is smooth and silky. The finish is complex, generous, and long. And while this wine may be consumed now, it will benefit substantially with a year in bottle and should continue to improve for another several years, with proper cellaring.
Bright pale yellow. Complex, inviting aromas of lemon drop, chlorophyll, honey and ginger. Densely packed and concentrated, offering excellent creamy depth to the lightly saline flavors of lemon, apple, quince, pear and floral tea. The serious, firm finish leaves behind notes of lemon candy and nectarine. Very well done.
19+ / 20 Points
Composed of 70% Celilo Vineyard (Columbia Gorge) and 30% Estate Vineyard (Walla Walla Valley), this is a gorgeous Chardonnay. It exhibits a brilliant gold color and enticing aromas of Asian pear-apple, peach and citrus, with scents of apple blossoms, acacia flowers, wet stone and whiffs of white incense. The vivid white fruit flavors (from whole cluster pressing) dance on the palate, with notes of peach stones, grape skins and Columbia Gorge volcanic minerals. The back reveals touches of hazelnuts, poire William liqueur, and crème fraiche, which are counterpointed by bright fruit acids on the lightly spiced, faintly honeyed finish.
For Washington whites 2013 was a challenging vintage, but you would never notice on this blend of Celilo (70%) and Woodward Canyon Estate vineyards. It’s immediately attractive, with notes of mineral, lemon curd, spice, toast and pear. The style is creamy yet reserved, showing good depth of flavors and pleasing subtleties with the finish lingering.