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Bachelder Oregon Chardonnay 2013

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Bachelder Oregon Chardonnay

Bachelder Oregon Chardonnay is bright lemon yellow in colour with gold tints. On the nose, intense aromas of apricot, peach and ripe lemon combine with a mineral, sea-salt tang. The palate is rich, honeyed and textured, balanced by wonderful acidity and a long, complex, mineral finish.

The grapes for this wine are sourced predominantly from organic vineyards in the Willamette Valley, including the organically-certified Lemelson Johnson vineyards, as well as Belle Pente and Ponzi vineyards. The soils here are a combination of sedimentary sandstone and volcanic soils which have their own sea-salty minerality that makes for very interesting terroir comparisons with limestone soils such as Niagara and Burgundy.

Thomas has worked for both Ponzi Vineyards and Lemelson in Oregon, and it is from the latter that he rents cellar space to make Bachelder. Lemelson Vineyards has a state-of-the-art gravity facility, and 60 hectares of organic vineyards that are amongst the most meticulously-kept vineyards in the entire Willamette Valley.

Thomas Bachelder was the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne in the Niagara region of Canada. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions – Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results.

Years of making Chardonnay – in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy; in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada‘s Niagara – has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine more sinewy, broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.

Hay Wines – Bachelder Oregon Chardonnay

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