Inspired by the great wines of the Montrachet AOC in France, this Chardonnay is powerful and rich but with good acids and minerality to create tension and excitement. A nod to French tradition, we aged this Chardonnay for 16 months in 50% new French oak from Burgundian coopers.
French Creek Vineyard, managed by Damon LaLonde, takes care to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. They use specific pruning/thinning techniques and in-row vegetation to their advantage, allowing the vineyard to be herbicide-free during the growing season. Sustainability is a core tenet of Forgeron Cellars.
French Creek’s lower elevation, combined with a consistent westerly wind through the Yakima Valley, cools the vines in the evening, allowing the fruit to maintain natural freshness and acidity. The soil is mostly silt loam with occasional spots of clay, caliche, basalt, and river rock. With such excellent drainage, the warm Eastern Washington summer sun, and light annual rainfall (6”- 8”), French Creek is one of our earliest ripening sites.
2015 Was much warmer than normal for Washington State, with January through August ranking as the warmest on record. Although harvest was early, the rhythm of incoming grapes was nicely spread out and we had ample time to ferment both whites (all our Yakima Valley Chardonnay was picked by the end of August) and reds, without feeling much of a crunch.
Acting with the ultimate respect for the fruit at all stages, we opt for a slow fermentation in French oak, and extensive sur lie aging with lees stirring to increase the body of the wine.
Full-bodied, creamy and assertive.
NOSE: honeysuckle, pear, starfruit, fresh mint, hint of nuttiness, oak, and minerals
MOUTH: pear, honey, caramel, and delicate oak
FOOD & WINE PAIRING: scallop and butternut squash risotto