Three Rivers Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006
Pineapple and cardamom aromas lead to more tropical flavors. Gentle stirring of the lees, oak barrel aging for 10 months and malolactic fermentation all contribute to the round mouthfeel and smooth finish.
"Beautifully silky and refined, with lively acidity to keep the plush grapefruit-accented pineapple, spice and cream flavors zippy, finishing harmoniously. Drink now through 2012."
Three Rivers Winery is a destination winery located just west of Walla Walla, Washington in the Columbia Valley wine country. Founded in 1999, Three Rivers Winery continues the tradition of acclaimed Walla Walla winemaking, handcrafting premium wines under the direction of Washington winemaking veteran Holly Turner. The winery is recognized for its quality and value driven wines, which are sourced from established vineyards and famed appellations from across Washington State. The 18,000 sq. ft. facility is set atop a small knoll overlooking the surrounding vineyards and includes a tasting room, meeting room and three short holes of golf for winery guests. Three Rivers Winery is a favorite destination for enthusiasts seeking a unique wine country experience.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
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.