Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2017
Aromas of white peach, macaroon, navel orange, lemon curd, poached pear, rose petal and apricot blossom. The palate has lively acidity, gravely minerality and flavors of Nashi pear, honeydew melon, Golden Delicious apple and flint followed by a long citrus driven finish.
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Oregon Wine Country, an extraordinary place sculpted by the floods of the last ice age, is a series of valleys much like Burgundy. The Yamhill Carlton AVA, located in the northern Willamette Valley, consists of ancient marine sedimentary-based soils, Mediterranean weather patterns and neatly combed benchlands. Gran Moraine embodies the confluence of these elements, creating a perfect setting to craft classic Burgundian varieties - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Gran Moraine takes its name from cataclysmic floods that occurred in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon during the last ice age. As the glaciers receded they released a torrent of water from the once giant Lake Missoula. These famous Missoula Floods traveled across the Columbia basin helping to carve out the Columbia Gorge.
The Willamette Valley became an extremely large temporary lake and was left with huge deposits of silt as well as giant boulders with origins in current British Columbia and Idaho. These are known by geologists as erratic rocks. These erratic rock outcroppings boldly manifest themselves throughout our vineyard. They were once part of the giant glacial dam’s moraine – what we refer to as the "Gran Moraine."
Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coast Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coast Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.
Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.
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.