I'm not good at describing wine. I just know what I like and I r-e-a-l-l-y liked this wine. But why?
Just a short read of Eric Asimov's New York Times wine article from a year ago clarifies things quite well. The name of the article was "Chardonnay, the Oregon Way" and in it Asimov determines the key to good Chardonnay starts in the vineyard, specifically, at harvest time.
Until relatively recently Oregon had a troubled history with the grape. One that was complicated by winemakers wanting to copy what California was doing. That's never a good idea. David Harris, who made the best Georgia wines at Blackstock Vineyards, used to say wine is made in the vineyard. Trust that vineyard to produce the quality necessary for winemaking and then allow the process to unfold with minimal interventions.
Trying to make California-styled Chardonnay disregarded an important element - acidity. Too many California Chardonnays are flabby and lack a structural continuity from start to finish. Asimov says an over-correction occurred when some Oregon winemakers opted for a more French style. That didn't work either. Now grapes are being harvested at the correct acidity for what appears to be a uniquely Oregon Chardonnay style.
Acidity enlivens a wine. It gives it a tension, a thrust, energy and momentum. All of those terms depict movement and if that movement is constant then that churning, that vibrancy, becomes a backdrop for the herbs, flowers and discernible minerality the 2017 Stoller displays.
Please join us this Thursday, September 12th after 5pm when we'll taste the Stoller and others here at the store.