ABOUT THE VINTAGE
The 2003 season started off a little on the cooler side but that quickly
changed in early June as it went on to become the warmest year since
1998. This resulted in an earlier harvest than usual and fairly compressed–
with everything ripening quite close together. It also made for
a situation where physiological maturity, sugar maturity and flavor
maturity coincided more so than in recent vintages.
ABOUT THE VINEYARD
Our estate vineyard sits above the Columbia River at its widest point,
and therefore the climate is moderated by this large mass of water. Its
location on the northeast side of the ridge protects the vineyard from
the wind that sweeps up the Columbia River gorge. The vines are own
rooted and planted in fine sandy loam soils with volcanic basalt subsoils,
which slow vine growth and produce grape clusters and berries that are
small and very concentrated in flavor and color. The fruit displays great
structure and balance.
ABOUT THE WINE
Our 2003 Chardonnay was made in a manner to emphasize the fruit
character in balance with the oak. A portion of the blend was barrel fermented,
while the other portion was stainless fermented. This resulted
in a wine with wonderful apple, pear and citrus notes, accented by some
caramel and toasted coconut aromas from the barrels. The mouthfeel is
crisp and clean, and there are hints of tropical fruit on the finish.
The crispness of this wine makes it a wonderful accompaniment to just
about any chicken dish. This Chardonnay is also a natural with seafood
dishes such as grilled shrimp, seafood paella and, of course, wild
salmon. A Canoe Crew favorite is halibut filet encrusted with pistachios
and parmesan cheese.