“The other new chardonnay that I tasted may well be the best I’ve ever had from Washington.” – Paul Gregutt
“I may be going out on a limb but it is one of the finest Chardonnays ever produced in Washington.” – Jay Miller
Both of these critical superlatives have been written in the past few months (about two different Chardonnays!), and in both cases, the wines have received scores two points higher than any Washington Chardonnay previously reviewed by that critic. In the months since the publication of these reviews, I have had the chance to sample both of these Chardonnays, and they are nothing short of thrilling. For a lover of white wine, this would make a spectacular holiday mixed case: an opportunity to taste two of the new stars in Washington’s white wine firmament.
2009 Woodward Canyon Chardonnay
Here is Paul Gregutt writing in a blog post in late September: “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”
While the actual review has not yet been released by Wine Enthusiast, Woodward Canyon has revealed on their website that it is set to score 96pts. This represents not only a high-water mark for Washington Chardonnay, but it will be the highest score Enthusiast has bestowed upon any white wine from Washington.
Fortunately, I had a tasting scheduled for late October where Woodward’s 09 Chardonnay was featured, so I was able to taste what all the fuss was about. Loads of earth and mineral notes complement a rainbow of fruits (apple, tropical, lemon). The mouthfeel is rich (75% of this went through ML) and intense, and this wine lingers endlessly on the palate with a kiss of butterscotch. It is beautiful and generous, and it contains subtle complexities usually associated with red wines.
2008 Cote Bonneville Chardonnay DuBrul Vineyard
And here is Jay Miller’s review from October: Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “($50); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
Cote Bonneville is the estate winery attached to DuBrul Vineyard (see DuBrul’s location here). I’d probably go a step further than Dr. Jay and say that DuBrul is now recognized as one of the finest sites in the entire state. I have heard winemakers wax poetic for hours at a time about the quality of the Bordeaux varietals, the Riesling, and, of course, the Chardonnay from this site.
This wine I got to taste as part of a blind flight of Washington Chardonnays over $20, and it was the clear standout (note: the Woodward Canyon Chardonnay was not included). This goes through full ML and sees more new oak than the Woodward (50% vs 20%), so the style is richer and fuller. The flavors are electric: earth, bread, lemon curd, and vanilla all wrapped up in a glorious pastiche of flavor. As with the Woodward bottling, there is plenty of acid here to brighten up all that rich fruit. And as with the Woodward bottling, the complexity here is staggering.
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles of each wine. We’ll do our best to fulfill all requests, and we should have the wines in the warehouse in 1-2 weeks, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.