2011 Woodward Canyon Chardonnay

SKU #1138892 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Woodward Canyon makes one of Washington’s most interesting Chardonnays, blending fruit from the old vines at Celilo in the Columbia Gorge, with estate-grown grapes from the western end of the Walla Walla Valley. In this cooler vintage, the wine remains beautifully proportionate, round and fruity, with pretty apple, pear and peach highlights. There is a light dusting of spice, and a lick of caramel on the finish.  (12/ 2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh and lively, with juicy pear and grapefruit flavors that are shaded with a hint of spice as the finish lingers intently. Drink now through 2015. 733 cases made.  (11/ 2012)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale bright yellow. Lemon drop and spicy oak aromas lifted by a subtle herbal element. On the palate, the intense lemon drop and spicy oak flavors are complicated by a saline note and framed by firm acidity. Very well done but not yet complex; I'd wait a year or two on this one. Finishes slightly warm but smooth, with lingering lemony fruit. This is the only chardonnay release from Woodward Canyon in vintage 2011.  (12/ 2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Comprising two-thirds fruit from Celilo Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge and one-third fruit from the estate’s oldest vines (primarily old Wente selections) – each barrel-fermented separately, with malolactic transformation arrested in selected barrels – the Woodward Canyon 2011 Chardonnay captures both fresh pear and apple juiciness as well as subtle creaminess, exhibiting a palpable sense of extract without significant weight or heat. In fashion not atypical for its vintage, it came out at only 13.3% natural alcohol even after being picked very late. A faintly bitter fruit pip edge adds stimulation to a juicy, if for now at least, not terribly complex finish. I would plan on enjoying this over the next 2-3 years.  (12/ 2012)

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Price: $39.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.3