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Canoe Ridge Chardonnay 2004

Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    0% ABV
    • WE90
    • RP91
    • WE91
    • WS87
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    Winemaker Notes

    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.

    FOOD RECOMMENDATIONS
    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.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Canoe Ridge

    Canoe Ridge

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    Canoe Ridge, , Washington
    Canoe Ridge
    Canoe Ridge Vineyard's estate vineyard, uniquely sited at a broad section of the Columbia River in eastern Washington, produces grapes of uncommon quality. The vast river moderates temperatures, prolonging the grapes' time on the vines during summer days, which are longer at this northern latitude, while protecting the vines from hard freezes in the winter. Sheltering ridges limit wind damage and hold warmth around the vines. The grapes from this vineyard are as unique as the area, with layers of concentrated fruit and lush, supple texture.

    The winery uses traditional French cellar practices, such as small-lot fermentation, gentle handling and French oak barrels, to enhance the fruit. To allow the best expression of each lot, the winemaker tailors the yeast strains, barrel selection and fermentation practices to complement the many different dimensions of the fruit. The winery is known for its unique Merlot, which displays the traditional elegant, classic flavors of Bordeaux Merlot, yet has the suppleness of Pinot Noir.

    Willamette Valley

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    One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds 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; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

    The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    WWB23581_2004 Item# 84917

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