Vineyard Shot


Accolades for Forgeron Cellars

Impulse Wine Offer & Review - Forgeron & BlackSmith 2012 Chardonnays

"...wines which aspire to be elegant, graceful, and full of character. My favorite of their lineup every year is the Chard, and always has been since first tasting it back in 2008."

Yashar Shayan,, July 29, 2014

Lucky Impulse

Forgeron Cellars 2012 Chardonnay & BlackSmith 2012 Chardonnay

Fellow wine lovers, we can all use a little bit of luck, and while Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla could be said to have plenty of it, it’s more than just luck which makes her wines outstanding. 

Forgeron is the French for Blacksmith, and they named the winery so because it is operated out of the former site of an old blacksmith shop in Walla Walla. When they acquired the property they found within it hundreds of horseshoes, which they promptly buried in the foundation to bring them good luck. 

Winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla, Paris born, has a Masters in Enology from the University of Dijon, in Burgundy – where better to learn the ins and outs of Chardonnay. She’s been making wine in the Northwest since 1991, and at Forgeron her aim has always been, “blending an Old World perspective with the pioneering spirit of Walla Walla.” 

Today, it’s us who are the lucky ones, with an outstanding deal on 2 great Chardonnays. 

BlackSmith 2012 Chardonnay $13.99 (Regularly $20)

Great at its original $20, made even better at 30% off, the BlackSmith wines are the little brother to their main Forgeron label (below), bringing similar quality in winemaking with added value factor with this fantastic, everyday drinking Chardonnay. 

This is a blend of vineyards including Kestrel and Weinbau Vineyards, and is 94% Chardonnay with just a small 6% hint of Roussanne, which adds extra depth and hint of stone fruit. Compared to the Forgeron Chardonnay, it’s a bit lighter and more austere, with just 11% new French oak, the rest being neutral. The nose has tropical hints of pineapple and fresh citrus, the palate is light and crisp with lemon, just a kiss of oak, and hints of apricot and cantaloupe melon. Only 443 cases were made. 

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State 
Vineyards: Kestrel, Lonesome Springs, Four Lakes Vineyard, Weinbau 
Grapes: 94% Chardonnay 6% Roussanne 
Aging: 100% French Burgundian Oak, 11% new, 89% neutral 
Drinkability: Now – 2016 
Body: Medium/Light 
Alcohol: 14.2% by volume 
Press: Listed in Seattle Magazine’s August 2014 issue as one of the top value Chardonnay 
Food Pairings: Tilapia, Clams 
Production: 443 cases 

Forgeron Cellars 2012 Chardonnay $27.99 (Normally $35)

Their main label, Forgeron, includes a selection of well-made red and white wines which aspire to be elegant, graceful, and full of character. My favorite of their lineup every year is the Chard, and always has been since first tasting it back in 2008. 

Made extra complex by blending grapes from sites of varied climate, with warmer sights like The Benches Vineyard of the Horse Heaven Hills contributing riper tropical fruit flavors, while cooler sights such as Underwood Mountain Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge offer balancing acidity and minerality. Made with Washington fruit, honed by Marie-Eve’s French sensibilities, using 100% French Burgundian Oak barrel, 32% of which is new, and 68% used, giving it elegance and complexity, not unlike a White Burgundy. 

The nose is alive with notes of white peaches, freshly baked croissants, and hints of vanilla bean. The palate is medium-bodied, with rich texture and custard creaminess. It shows flavors of crunchy yellow apples, toasty grilled bread, bosque pears, and hint of butterscotch and toasted hazelnuts. 

Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast Magazine gives it 91 points, and Sean Sullivan of the Washington Wine Report gives it 4 out of 5 stars, a rating of “Excellent”, and calls it, “An aromatically alluring wine with pear, toasty spices, peach, and touches of tropical fruit. The palate is medium-bodied, rich and ripe but avoids going over the top, maintaining well balanced acidity with an open finish.” 

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State 
Vineyard: Crawford, Kestrel, Upland, The Benches, Weinbau, Conner Lee, Underwood Mountain, Lonesome Springs 
Grape: 95% Chardonnay 5% Roussanne 
Aging: 100% French Burgundian Oak, 32% new 68% used 
Drinkability: Now-2018 
Body: Medium 
Alcohol: 14.1% by volume 
Drink This if you Like: White Burgundy, Meursault 
Press: 91 Points from Wine Enthusiast 
“Excellent” from Washington Wine Report 
Food Pairings: Halibut, Salmon, Grilled Chicken 
Production: 1014 cases