After two consecutive challenging and unusually cool and rainy vintages in Washington, 2012 made up for it;
an awesome vintage across the board! 2012 actually started cool, but thankfully it warmed up as the season
progressed, with brief rain events at just the right moments, allowing the grapes to ripen gradually and fully.
By late September temperatures were cooling down again, enabling layers of complexity and keeping sugars
The chardonnay was pressed whole cluster and fermented with just 20% new French Oak and aged sur lees for
7 months. The wine fermented at cool temperatures to retain as much fruit aromas as possible and unfined to
hold on to the wonderful complexity that is inherent to this Chardonnay made from older vines.
The aromas start with notes of apple blossoms, lemon peel and subtle mango, and continue into mineral and
wet slate notes with background of sweet pear, toasted spices and vanilla. On the palate youre first hit with
crisp apple and orange rind with tremendous focus, and length. The wine walks a beautiful line between rich full
flavors and finesse. There's luscious fruit and a touch of new oak without ever getting heavy or clumsy.
TA 6.3 g/L,
14,000 cases made
All Columbia Valley fruit from a smattering of vineyards, though dominated by fruit from Upland, Carpenter,
Newhouse Vineyards, Snipes Mountain, and Roza Hills.
A collaboration founded in 2008 between Food & Wine Magazine 2009 Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith
(K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, BIELER Père et Fils, Gotham Project). We
produce just three wines per vintage, a rosé, a cabernet blend and now a chardonnay.
Most of the wineries in this state are located east of the Cascade Range, where the climate is desert-like, with hot days and cool nights. The irrigated vineyards produce high yield, but the flavor is nevertheless very good. Traditionally Rieslings have been the most successful here, but currently Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are doing well. Chardonnay is successfully fermented in new oak barrels, yielding distinctively crisp and delicate flavors, like fresh apples. Washington Merlot, with its cherry flavors and aroma, tends to be more full-bodied, moderately tannic and slightly higher in alcohol than its Bordeaux cousins and higher in acidity than those from California. Acreage for the Syrah grape has increased substantially in the past few years, and in Washington it turns into big, dark, intensely concentrated wines with aromas and flavors of blackberries, black currants, roasted coffee and leather. A little-known German grape, Lemberger, does very well here. It produces a fruity but dry red wine in the Beaujolais or Dolcetto style.