2012 Argyle Chardonnay
Argyle Chardonnay is an exercise in purity. No bells or whistles, this is 100% Dijon clone, 100% stainless steel fermented chardonnay. Faint straw, almost green in color, the aromatics bring to mind rock melon, white tea, and Eureka lemon. The mid-palate is sleek with mouth-watering acidity and a deceptively silky texture. The richness is sneaky, waiting to be unlocked with, perhaps, pan-seared scallops, beurre blanc, shallots, black pepper.
|BRIX AT HARVEST
|ALCOHOL % BY VOL.
We could say that “Mother Nature made the wines in the 2012 Vintage. Bloom and fruit-set traveled from normal to well below normal. Cold weather and some negative effects from hail drove yields generally down. But, that can be a GOOD thing as smaller clusters and good dry weather leads to ripe fruit.
The key challenge to the successful farmer this year was the fact that the period of July through October was the driest since record keeping began in the late 1800’s. Potential desiccation was further exacerbated by very dry, east winds coming out of Eastern Oregon & Washington’s high desert. This wind period was the longest in memory in Argyle’s 27 years of Oregon winemaking. Vines already starved for moisture will not fair well under these late fall conditions.
For us, a balanced crop and belief in the weather forecast, caused us to give our vines a nice drink of water just before the east wind event. This allows the vines to continue to photosynthesize and for the berries to stay plump and fruity. At Argyle, we were allowed to pick fruit under lovely fall sunshine at a leisurely pace with perfectly ‘dialed-in’ maturity, excellent ripeness & fresh natural acidity.
If I had to compare this vintage to past ones, I’d probably pick a 50/50 blend of 2000 and 2008. Across the board, all wines white or red turned out extraordinary quality!
||Willamette Valley AVA