2021 Tan Fruit (Arterberry Maresh) "Cuvée Tan Fruit" Willamette Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1670374 97 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2021 Chardonnay Cuvée Tan Fruit comes from Dijon vines in the Maresh Vineyard, planted on a south-facing slope in 1991, plus a number of other sources around Willamette Valley. Bottled a few months earlier than the other Tan Fruit Chardonnays, its savory aromas explode from the glass: a core of peachy fruit is streaked with touches of candle smoke, matchstick, pie crust and floral tones. Medium-bodied, seamless and satiny, it flows effortlessly through the mouth with both depth of flavor and freshness. It has a pleasing touch of grip to anchor the long finish and feels like it has more to give as it unwinds in bottle over the next several years. Around 1,000 cases were made. (EB) Inner quote mark (5/2023)

K&L Notes

Don't let the name fool you: these are some of the most sought-after wines from Oregon's Willamette Valley. According to Erin Brooks from The Wine Advocate, "Tan Fruit is a brand-new project from Jim Maresh, proprietor of his family winery, Arterberry Maresh, and the winemaker behind some of the most exciting Chardonnays in the Willamette Valley today. Much of the fruit for the Arterberry Maresh wines are sourced from older estate vines, and very few cases are made each year."

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Price: $34.95

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Product Reviews:

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/23/2023 | Send Email
Woodsy on the nose, with hints of stone fruit and all the bright acid through the palate that you'd expect from Arterberry Maresh, the 2021 Tan Fruit shines with cool climate appeal. There's enough oak and richness to win over California Chardonnay drinkers, too. This is one of my favorite Willamette Valley producers, and I love having more releases on our shelves.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2023 | Send Email
This is a Chardonnay in a category unto its own. It somehow offers the bright lifted aromatics of the cool Willamette climate-the incredible acidity, the tension and minerality-while providing surprisingly satisfying weight and concentration, and just a touch of toast to spice up the euphony of flavors. This is the kind of bottle of wine that ends up empty far too soon, especially once the company finds it.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/12/2023 | Send Email
Long before I was the Domestic Wine Buyer at K&L I knew and loved the wines of Arterberry Maresh. As with the entire Willamette Valley region the vast majority of the hype and acclaim goes to the incredible Pinot Noirs produced here...and they deserve it. However, my favorite wine from Arterberry was often their Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay. It always had that something extra, the je ne sais quoi, vibrant minerality, tension, precision. So a few years back when Jim Maresh released a new series of wines entirely focused on experimenting with small lots of Chardonnay from around the valley I was beyond excited to taste them! Almost immediately those 2019 Tan Fruit releases got huge scores and most sold out entirely on pre-arrival! White Burgundy folks were clamoring for them as hype about these new Tan Fruit wines reverberated around the wine industry. Then the wildfires of 2020 meant no releases for that vintage...and so we waited, and we waited for the arrival of the 2021 Tan Fruit wines. Knowing the quality and demand for these wines we got in early and secured allocations before the inevitable huge scores hit...and hit they did! If you missed the inaugural release of these sensational, category defining wines fear not as we stocked up as much as we could of the breathtaking 2021 releases. These are some of the most refined, focused, energized, mineral driven Chardonnays you will find on the planet. Laser like in presentation these wines need time to warm up and aerate in the glass, tightly wound and flinty, they're liquid rock with flowers on top. The Cuvee Tan Fruit is mostly from Maresh's estate vineyard, a block planted in 1991, plus some other parcels of growers fruit. The wine is just so fragrant, bright, full of mineral and verve. Orchard blossom, juicy white peach, quince, apricot pit, chalk, preserved lemon, seashell salinity. Very much like Grand Cru Chablis (without any notable oak influence) but at the same time very much it's own thing - resolutely bright, energized, chiseled, Chardonnay that is making a poignant statement that Oregon Chard is a real contender on the world stage and is afraid of no one. This is next level wine that I urge everyone to try ASAP.
Top Value! Drink from 2023 to 2033

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/8/2023 | Send Email
I just tasted this yesterday (7 June) and it's almost as if a richer vintage Chablis has been made in Oregon! A nose of orchard and stone fruits with nice gobs of citrus fruit and light smokiness. On the palate, quite clean, with lemon, limestone, sea salt, and minerals. Background flavors of key lime, white peach and green melon. A wonderful addition to our domestic chardonnay portfolio!

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/25/2023 | Send Email
As a fan of Arterberry Maresh and Oregon Chardonnay, I was all in when Tan Fruit was released about eighteen months ago. This niche project brings out the best in refined, textured, fresh, and lively Chardonnay, and continues to do so in the terrific 2021 vintage. The Tan Fruit cuvee is new to the portfolio of these rarities, very limited in production and crafted from old-vine sites through the range. Even though it is meant as an entry point to the Tan Wines label, it really brings a ton of the complexity and depth that makes the high-end cuvees so renowned. Light floral aromas combine with a touch of citrus and pear, while the palate unfolds with deeply flavorful but refreshingly light flavors of white peach, kiwi, and melon. At this kind of pricing, it is an absolute champion of one of the most exciting categories in domestic wine (Oregon Chardonnay), and will also thrill those looking for Burgundy ringers or complex, refined Chardonnay from anywhere on the globe.

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