Day Wines Chardonnay Belle Pente Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton 2018
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Direct Press Selection | January 2022
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When Jonathan and I first discussed the theme of this month's wine club, I knew I wanted to feature this wine. It's no secret that Brianne Day is one of my favorite American winemakers, and I know I am biassed because she's also one of my best friends. But most importantly, she's incredibly talented and makes truly fantastic wines.
Brianne started working with Chardonnay from Belle Pente in 2015. This site holds a very special place in her heart, as Brianne used to work for the owners, Brian & Jill O’Donnell, and she considers them mentors. The 16-acre estate, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, has been thoughtfully farmed since day one, and has been organic since 2000, with biodynamic and regenerative practices being incorporated today. The 2018 rendition of this wine is a serious showstopper - I think it is one of the best wines Brianne has ever made. Fermented in one-third new puncheon and two-thirds neutral barrels, and aged 22 months before bottling. This is serious wine, and truly recalls the reason why the Willamette Valley is mostly planted to Burgundian grape varieties. The nose is decadent, with wildflower honey, ripe pear and sea salt. It's full-bodied, but balanced, with brilliant acidity that livens the palate - packed with juicy tangerine, apricot and green apple. A super long finish with just the right amount of oak makes it very easy to enjoy. Wine Enthusiast said this wine 'reinvented' Oregon Chardonnay, and for maybe the first time ever, I agree.
[Kirk Sutherland January 2021]