Ken Wright Cellars 2021 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $38
The Wright family creates this Chardonnay from two of their estate sites — Haakon Lenai Vineyard, a Dundee Hills site owned by Cody and Marque Wright, with Savoya Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton owned by founder Ken Wright and his soccer-coaching wife, Karen. Both vineyards are certified organic, and clone 548, which has found a home at each site, forms the foundation of this 50/50 blend of vineyards. That Djion clone, known at KWC as the “Cruz Clone,” has a reputation for low yields and high aromatics, the latter quality helps explain the remarkably tropical nose that hints at guava, mango, pineapple and jasmine. And yet, the eight months in neutral French oak adds a very light note of butter. On the palate, it’s deliciously brisk with its citrusy theme. There’s lemon oil, then a return of guava ahead of a food-friendly finish of lemon pith and jasmine. Such complexity and remarkable mouthfeel, in part from eight months on the lees, makes it a fun yet serious example of Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley. And as part of the Oregon Promise® movement, it is guaranteed to be 100% from the American Viticultural Area listed on the bottle.
Rating: Outstanding! — 94 points
Production: 135 cases