The 2016 growing season started fast and furious with an early bud break and we expected a repeat of 2015, the warmest vintage on record for WA State. Thankfully, temperatures dropped in early June and through the rest of th esummer and we were able to begin harvesting in late August.
We sourced mainly from four distinct sites to achieve the balance we were after in this warm year. Crawford (Yakima Valley) has established old vines (1993) and yields balanced fruit with great stone fruit flavors. Birch Creek (Walla Walla Valley) contributes ripe pear flavors. Celilo (The Gorge) contributes minerality, citrus, green apple and bright acidity. Weinbau (Wahluke Slope) produces assertive Chardonnay with ripe peach and pear flavors. Underwood (Columbia Gorge) with volcanic soil and clay loam covered basalt boulders, this cooler climate site contributes beautiful aromatics and minerality.
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. Harvesting our whites earlier allowed us to retain freshness, lively flavors and acidity while we patiently waited for the reds to pack up flavors, complexity, and power through longer hang time.
As with all Forgeron wines, the different vineyard lots are kept separate until the final blend is determined. This allows us to see how the fruit from each site develops and how each will contribute aroma and flavors to the wine.
Influenced by a long growing season, the Chardonnay displays explosive fruit flavors and concentration.
NOSE: NOtes of elderberry, lemon meringue, and toasty hazelnut, pie crust, and vanilla.
MOUTH: juicy apricot, fuzzy white peach, notes of key lime and starfruit
FOOD & WINE PAIRING: grilled shrimp, avocado tuna tapas, creamy mustard tarragon chicken