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Chehalem INOX Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS88
14% ABV
  • WE91
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • RP89
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4.1 6 Ratings
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4.1 6 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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. 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.

Quintessential INOX, with lovely white aromas of gardenia and other flowers, peach, apricot, pear, pineapple, and green apple candy showing on the nose and palate; it shows a great balance with relatively low alcohol for the year and bright acid; the length is lovely and the weight rich, with a supple, silky texture; flavors linger, with cherry and peach accents. Very pleased.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
Bright and jazzy, offering lime and mineral flavors that weave through the apple and pear fruit. Drink now through 2013.
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Chehalem

Chehalem

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Chehalem, , Oregon
Chehalem
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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

FBR107020_2009 Item# 109305

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