Thomas Bachelder will be known to many of our customers as the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne...
He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions – Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character compared to the Niagra Chardonnay which is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits.
The grapes for this wine are sourced predominantly from organic vineyards in the Willamette Valley, essentially from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. The soils here are a combination of sedimentary sandstone and volcanic soils which have their own sea-salty minerality that makes for very interesting comparisons with limestone soils such as Niagara and Burgundy.
2011 brought the coldest and most challenging growing season in the Willamette Valley since 1954. Temperatures in spring were lower than usual which delayed flowering until well after mid-July. The first half of October was also cold and wet, then the stretch between the 17th and 27th saved the day with mostly dry weather and one day reaching 24°C. The grapes were finally harvested by hand in the last week of October.
Years of winemaking - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada‘s Niagara - have taught Thomas to be as natural as possible. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Handled gently, the wine was aged in 30% new French oak barrels, the rest in one to five year-old barrels, for 18 months in a cool cellar before bottling.
This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a wine of elegance and finesse, far from the overbearing jammy fruitiness of some Willamette Valley wines. Distinctly Oregon, yet almost Burgundian in its smooth approach, this Pinot has perfumed red fruit, distinctive soft, ripe tannins and a silky mineral finish.
100% Pinot Noir
|Region||Willamette Valley, Oregon|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.