Oregon Chardonnay Takes Center Stage

Willamette Valley produces some mighty fine Pinot noir. The region also produces some great Chardonnay, and vintners planted plenty of it during the post-prohibition era in the 60s and 70s. Yet, many drinkers are not familiar with the whites. There are some interesting experiments going on right now, which are slowly redefining what Oregon Chardonnay is, and what makes it so special.

As for taste, they are quite different in style, rarely mimicking the wines of California or Burgundy. They are simply unique and different from other Chardonnays you’ve probably tasted, leaning towards a clean, fresh, and austere style to lightly oaked and slightly creamy. Both styles are beautifully crafted. If you have not had one before, seek one out and try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. 

If you need some enticement, here are a few examples you will probably love:

2012 Adelsheim Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay $45 | Rating: Excellent

2012 Anam Cara Chardonnay Reserve $32 | Rating: Excellent

2012 Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay Willamette Valley $85 | Rating: Excellent

2012 Boedecker Chardonnay Willamette Valley $14 | Rating: Very Good

2012 Chehalem Chardonnay INOX $19 | Rating: Excellent

2011 Eyrie Chardonnay Reserve $46 | Rating: Very Good

2012 Lange Estate Winery Three Hills Cuvee $38 | Rating: Excellent

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Estate Reserve Chardonnay $32 | Rating: Very Good

2011 Ponzi Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve $30 | Rating: Excellent

2011 Rex Hill Dijon Clone Chardonnay $38 | Rating: Very Good

2011 Stoller Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay $35 | Rating: Very Good

2011 Willamette Valley Vineyards Elton Chardonnay $45 | Rating: Very Good

Interesting and unique parings to go with Oregon Chardonnay: potato chips, potato leek soup, Oregon Dungeness crab, popcorn with parmesan cheese and truffle oil, curry, and sushi!