Phelps Creek Wines Chardonnay 2017
Phelps Creek utilizes fruit from both their estate in Oregon and the Jones property on Underwood Mountain in Washington. The high altitude growing of the Jones estate brings bright acidity, while the Phelps Creek estate fruit layers spice and depth. Aged in both French and Hungarian oak barrels.
Phelps Creek first planted their oldest vines of Pinot Noir in 1990, adding a block of Dijon clone Chardonnay two years later. Over the years they have expanded the vineyards and now nurture 34 acres (25 Acres of Pinot Noir, 4.5 acres of Chardonnay and 1/2 acre of Pinot Gris). In addition to the estate fruit, they experiment with growing "alternative whites" just across the Columbia River on Underwood Mountain.
Phelps Creek is a tributary of the Columbia River. The creek source is a lake between their vineyard and Mt. Defiance, running a path just below our vineyards. Ours is the first private property along its route. Along the way several natural springs feed the flow. The stream terminates as Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, situated on the backside of the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. Phelps himself was a Cooper, building barrels using a small mill along the lower portion of the creek. The Oregon Geographical Names mentions Phelp's involvement in a tragic rafting accident on the Columbia and the creek is named in his memory.
Home to some of America’s most celebrated Pinot Noir, Oregon maintains a tight focus on small production, high quality wine even while the state’s industry enjoys steady growth. As a world-renowned wine region, Oregon has more than 700 wineries and is home to well over 70 grape varieties. With a mostly Mediterranean climate, its cooler and wetter regions lie in the west, close to the Pacific Coast.
By far the most reputed Oregon wine region is the Willamette Valley, which is further subdivided into six smaller appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.
The Oregon wine region's most obvious success story is with Pinot Noir, which here takes on a personality that could be described in general terms as somewhere in between the wines of California and Burgundy—and is often more affordable than either one. The best Willamette Pinot noir has a rare combination of red and black fruit, elegant balance, high acidity and rustic earth. While completely enjoyable in their youth, some of the better, single vineyard or appellation-specific Pinot noirs can often benefit from some cellar time.
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.