Chehalem INOX Chardonnay 2007
Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
INOX® takes its name from the abbreviation of the French word for stainless steel, inoxydable. The wine was created differently from most Chardonnay you've had. We think we've succeeded in expressing the crisp, steely, and fruit-rich side that we love about some Old-World Chardonnays. What makes this possible is the use of exclusively Dijon clones, exceptionally well suited to Oregon's cool climate and exhibiting a richness that does not depend on oak. Entirely tank fermented, without malolactic fermentation or lees contact, INOX screams of the hallmarks of a cool climate-brightness, pinpoint fruit, and explosive aromas and flavors. We intend INOX for a full range of use, from hot weather chilling to elegant dinner complements.
Fruit comes primarily from our Estate Vineyards, predominantly Stoller, with a measure of Corral Creek. Dijon clones 76, 95, and 96 are fermented together for a fully complemented wine. The estate vineyards are planted on two different soil types: Stoller on Jory and Corral Creek on Laurelwood. In 2008, we also bought Dijon fruit from some of our Willamette Valley neighbors: Gran Moraine, Banks, Temperance Hill, Thistle, Elvenglade, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Roserock, and Willakia.
A platinum, brilliant wine that immediately shares a profusion of floral aromas and bright fruit, especially pear, green apple, honeydew melon, tangerine, peach, apricot, Meyer lemon, and even kiwi and pineapple. Spice and other aromatic accents include confectioners' sugar, vanilla bean, and ginger, as well as the "Juicy Fruit" gum aromatic that is a marker for Dijon-clone Chardonnay fruit. There is a knife-edged brightness and minerality due to incredibly snappy acidity, making it tartly succulent and mouthwatering. Although high in acid, low in alcohol (13.4%), and bone dry (at less than .25% sugar), this has great weight and near-perfect balance.
Wine Spectator - "Light and appealing for its gentle pear and peach fruit, lingering softly. Drink now through 2010. 7,187 cases made. "
Wine Enthusiast - "INOX—from the French inoxidable—is Chehalem’s stainless steel-fermented Chardonnay, what some might label “naked” or "unwooded." It is widely available and very appealing, with a tart, stony texture and bright, acid-driven fruit. Green apple and citrus are front and center in this vintage, with a steely spine of natural acid and virtually no residual sugar. "
With two vineyards on either end of Chehalem Ridge and one in the Dundee Hills, Chehalem is dedicated to reflecting as purely as possible what the vineyard has produced. With minimal processing and without compromising great fruit, Chehalem wines promise good ageing but are very drinkable young. Production quantities of all Chehalem wines are limited, to assure ultimate winemaking control. View all Chehalem Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.