Vineyard Shot


Accolades for Forgeron Cellars

Wines NorthWest deems Marie-Eve's 2011 Chardonnay "Versatile"

"Aromas of crisp apple & pear mingle with notes of orange blossom & earthy mineral."

Chuck Hill,, March 15 2013

Versatile Chardonnay ~ The Dawning of a New Era
By Chuck Hill
Part 2 of a 3-Part Series (Part 1) 

"Perhaps it is the combination of recent vintages, or maybe a coincidental shift of attitude by winemakers & winery owners.  Somehow the quality of Chardonnay wines I have tasted for these articles has taken a giant leap forward, & the character of the wines has become more sophisticated & food friendly.  Reflecting on my past as a wine judge in the 1990s, I recall the "chore" of being assigned the Chardonnay panel where dozens of insipid Chardonnay samples were presented, each with the same "apple, pear, light toast" descriptor.  No longer... & it's about time! 

A new era of Chardonnay offers the consumer some vast improvements conjured by changes in grape-growing techniques & winemaking strategies.  The wines have more � & more balanced � acidities.  The wines are more complex, showing earthy mineral, bright & various fruit, hints of oak & ample sur lie character from barrel-aging. 

My premise of "Versatile Chardonnay" has been fulfilled with wines complementing everything from seafood to smoked chicken to mu-shu pork & beyond.  A few wines hint at the complexities & character of French white Burgundies, but all give better value & validate the New World wine experience that Mike Grgich began at the Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976...:

Forgeron Cellars 2011 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

"French born & educated Marie-Eve Gilla has been the winemaker at Forgeron Cellars since its 2001 founding in downtown Walla Walla at the site of a former blacksmith shop.  In the 12 years of its history, Forgeron Cellars has expanded its offerings to include bottlings of different varietals & blends & the value-priced Blacksmith label wines.

Forgeron Chardonnay is crafted from vineyard sources on both the warm Wahluke Slope & the cooler Yakima Valley AVA.  Aromas of crisp apple & pear mingle with notes of orange blossom & earthy mineral.  The palate offers flavors of pear & citrus with notes of vanilla & toasty oak leading to a crisp finish of bright acidity.  The winery opened a Woodinville-area tasting room in July of 2012."