2017 Angela Estate Chardonnay
2017 is often described as a “return to normal” for the Willamette Valley. Winter was certainly very wet when the growing season began in mid-April with bud break, all of the sustaining water the vines would need to was available in the ground. Bloom came around the third week of June as summer was setting in. However, as temperatures climbed through July and August, Oregon’s forests in the Columbia Gorge and Southern Oregon suffered large wild fires, of which we saw some smoke drift in the valley. As harvest approached, we noticed an unexpected and welcomed side-effect: though the smoke from these distant fires was far from enough to taint the grapes, it would act as a beneficial sun filter, protecting the skins from sunburn and helping to preserve the fruit’s natural acidity. Harvest began in mid- September, when the usual first drops of rain reminded us that it was time, and continued into October, picking largely pristine, ripe, and balanced fruit.
HARVEST & WINEMAKING NOTES
Grapes were diligently picked when just ripe, not before or after. Whole-clusters of Chardonnay were lightly crushed and pressed hard to extract both grape lees (bourbes) and phenolics, and avoid an unnecessary sulfur addition. After minimal settling, the must was then transferred with most of its lees to barrels of varying sizes where it naturally fermented at its own pace. The wine stayed in barrel for a year, slowly completing malolactic fermentation with the help of naturally occurring bacterias before being transferred to small stainless steel vats for another six months. It was bottled in February 2019 after a light fining and a loose filtration.
APPELLATION: 100% Willamette Valley AVA
COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay
AGEING: 12 months in 35% NFO
CASE PRODUCTION: 400 cases (9L)
BOTTLING DATE: 02.07.19
Blend of four renowned vineyards in the Willamette Valley:
- Hopewell (owned and farmed by Mimi Casteel, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, organic/biodynamic/ permaculture)
- Seven Springs (Eola-Amity Hills AVA, biodynamic)
- Bunker Hill (farmed by Lingua Franca, located in the West Salem Hills, Willamette Valley AVA)
- X-Omni (owned by Craig Williams, 22 different clones, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, LIVE certified)