Columbia Valley No-Oak Chardonnay
The Vintage / Winemaking
Buried Cane wines are named after a time-honored Washington State practice used to protect grape vines from frigid winter temperatures. Low-growing vine canes (shoots) are buried under the soil, then unearthed after winter freezes pass. Buried Cane wines are named with terms common in woodcut printing.
Washington State wine country has warm sunny summers and cold frosty winters. One time-honored practice to protect grape vines from damaging cold is to bury low-growing vine canes. These buried canes can be unearthed after winter freezes pass, assuring a grape harvest in the following season.
Cool climate vineyards produce wines with plenty of natural acidity and balance. This Chardonnay has crisp apple and melon fruit flavors, a touch of citrus, and balanced oak-spice and butter notes.
Chardonnay is the most widely planted white varietal in Washington. It buds early and produces plenty of foliage, making it a challenge in Eastern Washington if the vineyards are hit with an early spring frost.
The 2009 Buried Cane Chardonnay is 100% varietal and is blended from two distinctive vineyards. It’s 95% Arete Vineyard from the Columbia Valley AVA and 5% Champoux Vineyard, from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
The Arete Vineyard, planted in 1985, straddles Radar Hill near Othello, Washington. It’s a very cool site. This area is noted for producing wines which are delicate and fruity in nature; Chardonnay excels here. The Champoux Vineyard was planted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Paul Champoux began managing the vineyard in 1989 and has consistently worked to improve quality in his 170 acre site. The vineyard has 16 acres of Chardonnay, along with numerous other varieties.
The finished wine is light yellow in color, with a lime-green tinge. The nose shows distinct Chardonnay character, but with plenty of cool-climate focus. Green apple and macadamia nut aromas dominate the nose, with creamy citrus backnotes. They all combine to make an almost apple-pie aroma. The wine is bright and zingy on the palate, with green-apple flavors and crisp acidity. It finishes clean and refreshing, with supple texture. Enjoy this Chardonnay with chicken, seafood, pork and vegetable dishes.
Tasting Notes (PDF download)