Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2018
This wine has such a wonderful, lifted floral component—it just wafts out of the glass. I also love the freshness and vibrancy of the fruit. It makes me want to go pick ripe pears right off the tree. The palate really brings this wine home for me; it’s refreshing and luscious, yet complex and thoughtful.
Established in 1971, Adelsheim is a family-owned and operated winery with estate vineyards located in Oregon's northern Willamette Valley. Over the past 41 years, the Adelsheim Vineyard estate has grown to include twelve exception vineyard sites throughout the Valley, totaling 237 acres. Company co-founder, David Adelsheim, has done work throughout the years to benefit both the Oregon and American wine industries: grape and wine research, wine labeling, industry education, and promotion. He is recognized for his "outstanding service" to the industry and has played a vital role in building the Oregon wine industry and establishing its reputation worldwide. Today, he leads a current generation of passionate staff devoted to leading the industry in crafting consistently transcendent wines.
One of Pinot Noir's most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based, Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and Gamay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.