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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2015

  • WE91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • JD90
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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  • WE91
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Chardonnay was 100% barrel fermented in French Burgundy barrels, of which roughly 20% were new. Rich flavors of peach and apple marry with vanilla, spice and hazelnut to offer complex aromas in the nose balanced with mineral notes and generous crisp fruit in the mouth. At the same time, there is an elegant, refined side and it shows a very distinct sense of place.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of fruit from Woodward Canyon and Celilo vineyards, subtle aromas of pear, apple and toast lead to elegant well-balanced fruit flavors, brightened by tart acidity. The balance is exquisite. Apple flavors persist on the finish.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Polished and vibrant, with floral tropical fruit and spice aromas and sleek, complex flavors of pear and citrus.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Washington State Chardonnay is outstanding. Offering up classy notes of sautéed apple, peach and even subtle tropical hints, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, plenty of texture and impeccable balance. This is classic Chardonnay that has richness with freshness.
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
The base 2015 Chardonnay offers classic notes of sautéed apple, brioche, white flowers, and spice. It's fresh, clean, pure, and just impeccably made. It's a great example of Washington State Chardonnay, of which there are far too few.
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Woodward Canyon

Woodward Canyon

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Woodward Canyon, Washington
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Woodward Canyon Winery, named for the canyon Rick’s family farmed and where the Estate Vineyard is now located, was established in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon was the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley and the Smalls were instrumental in the process of obtaining federal approval of the Walla Walla Valley appellation.

The winery has consistently produced premium, age-worthy, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots as well as Chardonnays. From the outset, Rick determined that quality would take precedence over quantity.

Consequently, Woodward Canyon has remained small. Woodward Canyon is located in Lowden in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. The tasting room is a restored 1870's farmhouse.

Woodward Canyon is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley Winegrowers' Sustainable Trust.

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Columbia Valley

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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.

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Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

PRG000171_15_2015 Item# 414563