Superbly Balanced Chardonnay
Real Quality and Great Value
advantage of being a professional pilot is having the ability to choose where
you might want to
live from a â€śbirds-eye point of viewâ€ť. As a (former) Delta Airlines pilot, Bob
Morus, owner of Phelps Creek Vineyards, did just that in the late 1980â€™s. â€śPortland
presented a better basing option for me than San Francisco, at the point I
joined Delta. I was married and originally living/flying out of Chicago. We
began a process of researching Oregon (1989), thinking it would be a slow,
gradual process to find a perfect place and transfer my base of operation - I
drew a radius of 90 miles from PDX (Portland International Airport)â€ť
Every great story has a novel beginning!
Creek Vineyards is small boutique winery that focuses on estate grown Pinot
Noir and Chardonnay (Burgundy) varietals; only producing 5,000 cases
annually in total. The vineyard management takes center stage in every step
of their wine production. Sustainable agricultural practices, combined with
careful oversight of the fruit yields on the vines, leads to the noted
intensity of their wine portfolio.
They first planted their oldest vines of
Pinot Noir in 1990, shortly adding a block of Dijon clone Chardonnay two years
later. Incrementally, the vineyards expanded and now nurture 30 acres (25 Acres
of Pinot Noir, 4.5 acres of Chardonnay and 1/2 acre of Pinot Gris). In addition
to their own estate grown fruit, theyâ€™ve also established long-term relationships
with some of the most desirable vineyards throughout Oregoâ€™s Columbia Gorge
AVA (American Viticultural Area).
The experience with winemaker, Alexandrine
Roy, has been more than wonderful for Phelps Creek. The total relationship to
the wines and her story as a fourth generation winemaker, producing acclaimed
wines in both Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) and the Columbia Gorge, has
brought much media attention. Her passion for winemaking matches and pairs with
the vineyard field employeesâ€™ devotion to growing the finest Pinot Noir and
Chardonnay in the state.
â€śI donâ€™t make wines, I work on growing
fruit,â€ť says this dynamo-winemaker,
whoâ€™s articulate English comes from working at Phelps Creek Winery in Oregon.
Her approach in Oregon sums up Burgundy. â€śMy wine is classic in style with
acidityâ€”not overripeâ€”delicate and balanced,â€ť she says. â€śItâ€™s all about
the palate.â€ť She shocked the resident team at Phelps Creek by picking a
week earlier than they did, de-stemming and using natural yeasts. â€śAmericans
like control,â€ť she says. â€śI leave it up to nature.â€ť So for
Alexandrine Roy, the intermittent work as a consultant and guest winemaker
easily secured her as Phelps Creekâ€™s overall Director of Winemaking.
miles east of Portland, the Columbia Gorge Wine region lies in the heart
of the Columbia River Gorge, a dramatic river corridor that straddles the
Columbia River for 15 miles into both Oregon and Washington. This region, which
encompasses 40 miles, includes both the Columbia Gorge AVA and part of the Columbia
Valley AVA. Lewis and Clark first made the Columbia Gorge famous when they
passed through on their way to the Pacific Ocean in 1805!
The winegrowing region, the climate in the
Columbia Gorge appellation changes drastically. To the west is a cooler,
marine-influenced climate where it rains 36 inches per year; to the east it's a
continental high desert climate with just 10 inches of annual rainfall. This
extreme variance of climate means this area can successfully grow a wide range
of classical varieties. The Columbia Gorge wine region soils are
generally silty loams collected over time from floods, volcanic activity and
landslides. The Gorge is the only sea-level passage through the Cascade
Mountain Range. From north to south there are two iconic geographical features:
Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood, both part of the central Cascade Mountain range.
â€śThe Phelps Creek 2011 Chardonnay Estate
Reserve is delightfully scented with green tea and lime, apple and almond, all
of which reunite on a sappy and beautifully balanced palate that is at once
caressing and vivacious. Saliva-inducing salinity; pungency of sage and
marjoram; as well as a bite of black pepper lend invigorating and unanticipated
interest to the finish. Incidentally, fermentation and maturation here was
entirely in barrels that had been used already one or more times. I anticipate
this performing admirably through at least 2015 â€“ 91 pts. Robert Parker
hand-picked wine is ready to ship. To see other personal wine
recommendations we are offering customers CLICK HERE Each
wine has been carefully selected to recommend. You might want to mix and match.
Need help? Call 1 800 434
9463 (WINE) and ask for your Wine Advisor, Ty.
My job is to learn your palate. Please tell me what you are looking for, i.e.,
specific grapes, countries, and/or price points. We guarantee all wines
we recommend, you never get stuck with wine you do not enjoy. Simply let us
know if you are not happy and we will pick up the wine at our cost and put you
into something else. I will also always match a legitimate price. We stand
behind our customers 100%.