The 2018 A to Z Chardonnay greets with aromas of lemon, lime zest, kumquat, quince, spiced apple, pear, peach, melon, apricot and lemongrass with hints of sage and fresh cut hay. The wine dances on the palate, alive with flavors of citrus fruits, green apple and starfruit. It is rich and yet balanced, fleshy and yet precise. There is a grapefruit pith note to the finish, along with a linear minerality that carries through for quite some time after tasting. The 2018 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay is a racy, delicious example of unoaked cool-climate Chardonnay!
The 2018 A to Z Chardonnay is a blend using fruit from approximately 20 different vineyards located across Oregon; from the verdant Willamette Valley, to the mighty Columbia Gorge, to the high mountain, river valleys of the Rogue and U mpqua AV As. These different sites together provide a 'full orchestra' of flavors and aromatics. The individual parcels of fruit are harvested separately, pressed gently, fermented coolly in numerous vessels using a variety of yeasts to enhance complexity and aged on light lees until bottling. Malolactic fermentation is intentionally blocked to retain freshness.
Across regions, budbreak was early to normal, followed by unusually dry conditions in the early growing season for Northern Oregon and storms in Southern Oregon until flowering. The result was a fairly compressed bloom period in all four growing regions. Fruit set was average to high, requiring crop adjustment in some areas. The peak of the season brought the longest rainless period on record (90+ days), but moderate daytime temperatures and nighttime lows took much of the pressure off of the vines. The harvest period saw some intermittent showers, but not enough to affect fruit quality. Fruit chemistry was well balanced across regions, making 2018 one of the best vintages of the decade.
Vibrant, with plush fruit, offering medium-weight lemon and quince flavors that take on expression and polish on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 38,270 cases made. -TF - Wine Spectator Magazine 90 Points - #58 TOP 100 WINES OF 2019