Lange Winery Three Hills Cuvee Chardonnay 2011
More than thirty years ago, Don and Wendy Lange founded their winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. The year 1987 marked the Langes’ first vintage and consisted of the three varietals they embrace today: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
New-world pioneers in the production of Pinot Gris, Lange Estate was the first to release a barrel-fermented reserve–an effort Matt Kramer of the WINE SPECTATOR calls “a bench-mark bottling.” Don Lange’s work as a winemaker has been termed “brilliant” by Hugh Johnson, and the WINE ENTHUSIAST proclaimed Lange Estate to be “one of the great Pinot Noir producers in the United States.”
Lange Estate is known for crafting beautifully balanced wines from fruit grown on the winery Estate, located in the heart of the prestigious Dundee Hills appellation. To further supplement our case production, the Langes purchase additional fruit from the best vineyards in the surrounding area. Long-standing relationships with these blue-ribbon sites have helped the winery establish a well-deserved reputation for consistency and complexity in the 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.