Columbia Crest Grand Estate Unoaked Chardonnay
- Last Updated:
- 08/03/2023 15:13:46
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• Spring temperatures in Eastern Washington started off
relatively cool but rose quickly, and the region soon settled
in to a more typical weather pattern.
• Summer was predictably warm though without any
prolonged excessive heat events, with temperatures rarely
breaking 100° Fahrenheit.
• Late summer and early fall brought on slightly cooler
daytime highs and a significant diurnal shift, a pattern that
continued well into October.
• A few sporadic rain showers in mid-to-late October were
quickly dissipated by persistent winds and had no effect on
• Overall the 2012 harvest was outstanding; the whites are
flavorful with beautiful natural acidity.
• The fruit for the Reserve Chardonnay is picked by hand
from Columbia Crests select Estate vineyards located in
the Horse Heaven Hills.
• The vintages balance between warm daytime temperatures
and cooler evenings concentrated aromatics and
• The appellations low rainfall stressed the vines, yielding
concentrated fruit with depth and varietal expression.
• Handpicked fruit from our estate vineyard was fed directly
into a pneumatic press where the juice was quickly but
gently separated from the skins and seeds.
• After cold settling, the clean juice was racked into a 475
gallon egg-shaped concrete tank and inoculated with a
blend of yeasts to initiate alcoholic fermentation.
• The wine underwent a partial malolactic fermentation to
soften and add layers of complexity.
• The wine was aged on the lees with regular weekly stirring
for five months.
• A filtration occurred just prior to bottling to ensure stability
2012 Reserve Estate Unoaked Chardonnay
Appellation • Horse Heaven Hills
Vineyards • Columbia Crest Estate
Harvest Date • October 2, 2012
Blend • 100% Chardonnay
Fermentation • Three weeks with a blend of Chanson,
Burgoblanc & Premier Cuvee yeasts
Alcohol • 14.5%
Total Acidity • 0.59g/100ml
ph • 3.37
Cases Crafted • 50
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.