2015 Chehalem "INOX" Willamette Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1315510 91 points Vinous

 Green-tinged straw. Bright and incisive on the nose displaying fresh mineral-tinged pear and nectarine aromas that show excellent clarity. Silky penetrating and precise offering an array of sharply focused citrus and pit fruit flavors supported by a spine of smoky minerality. A subtle floral note appears on the fragrant very persistent finish which leaves behind a juicy Meyer lemon note. Owner/winemaker Harry Peterson-Nedry, who founded this winery, along with co-owner Bill Stoller (Stoller Vineyards) in 1990, has been a long-time and vocal proponent of the potential for white wines in the Willamette Valley. When I visited him last August he expressed a quiet pride in the fact that so many of his colleagues are proving his prediction to be correct and confidence that the best is still to come. Now joined at Chehalem by his daughter, Wynne, Peterson-Nedry crafts elegant, balanced wines that evoke Old World freshness rather than New World bombast. These are often among the State’s best Germanic-based wines, with solid track records for age-worthiness, and the Chardonnays have proven to be worthy cellar candidates. (JR)  (8/2016)

Wine Enthusiast

 Done entirely in stainless tanks, this fruity wine offers spring fresh flavors of citrus, pineapple and green melon. With barely perceptible residual sugar, the acids keep it lip-smacking and lively. There is just a hint of buttery caramel at the core.  (12/2016)

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Price: $16.99
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Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/1/2017 | Send Email
When I sat down to taste this at the winery, I didn't hear the owner and founding winemaker Harry Peterson-Nedry explain that it was a Chardonnay. I gave the glass a swirl, and aromas of lemon peel and mineral and a very light palate led me to believe that it was perhaps a Riesling. When Nedry explained that it was, indeed, an unoaked Chardonnay, and that "Inox" is French for stainless steel, I was totally floored by the purity of the style. You have to taste this wine.

Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2017 | Send Email
I had the pleasure of tasting the lineup of new releases from Chehalem on a recent trip to their vineyards in Oregon. Among several that stood out was this Chardonnay. Seeing no malo or oak, it has so much beautiful white peach, green apple and citrus fruits, dazzling acidity and fresh juiciness on the palate that my taste buds were craving a full glass. Don't snub this varietal! Oregon Chardonnay is on the rise and this bottling from Chehalem is a wonderful representation of what the region has to offer.

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- 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.

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.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.