Ripe, healthy fruit was hand-picked into small totes, and then whole-cluster pressed. Half of the juice was fermented in French Oak barrels (30% new) to create a round, rich texture. The other half was fermented and aged in stainless steel to maintain the purest and most elegant expression of Chardonnay. After eight months, these two styles were blended to create a cuvée of a more delicate nature - to Véronique, it is as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis and a gentle Meursault.
2010 was a long, relatively cool growing season, ending in a late, fairly compact harvest. Picking started on October 18, and was completed in just 9 days, and though the accumulated heat days throughout the year were low, the strength of the vineyards and mild October led to the kind of physiological ripeness we look for, and in this case, the lower alcohols we like. Heavy thinning led to reduced yields, but the quality of both the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is exciting, and both feature strong acidity that bodes well for extended ageing.
2010 is a wonderful year for Chardonnay. Our Arthur is fresh and inviting on the nose, with beautiful citrus, lemon zest, grapefruit, white flowers such as magnolia, even some stony character, and a hint of toast. The acidity and the sense of minerality remind me of Chablis, but the mouthfeel is purely Oregon. Very complex, this Chardonnay could be cellared for a couple years.