Our Chardonnay Arthur is produced from 100% Dijon clones, grown on the Drouhin Family Estate in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. First planted in 1990, the low yields of these vines and their early ripening ability have been a perfect match for our climate and soils. Arthur, named for Véronique's son, is a wine that captures the bright, crisp acidity and mineral character of the vineyard, balanced with richness and lovely length.
Our 2017 Chardonnay was hand-picked into small totes, and then whole-cluster pressed. It was partly fermented in French Oak barrels to reveal the complexity of the fruit through the slow breathing process that happens in wood. The rest was fermented and aged in stainless steel to keep the vibrancy and fruitiness. Véronique then blended these two portions to create a wine of a more delicate nature - Arthur. To Véronique, it as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis and an elegant Meursault.
A cool winter, followed by a cool and wet spring, slowed the arrival of bud break. Summer temperatures were largely warm, but moderate weather arrived by late August, allowing fruit maturation to slow. By the middle of September temperatures were perfect. Over the course of nearly three weeks, we were able to harvest parcels at optimal ripeness. In the end 2017 gave us beautifully balanced fruit with delightful flavors and lovely length.
Distinct aromas of gooseberry and wildflowers welcome you to the glass. As the wine opens, notes of apricot, grapefruit, lemon zest and white peach emerge. On the palate, the essence has a candied quality, with a mix of fennel and almond and finishing with a touch of citrus and soft spices. The texture is beautifully rich, while still maintaining its fresh character. I find it delicious now, but wouldn't hesitate to hold in the Cellar from 2020 - 2024.