Chardonnay – Reserve, Willlamette Valley
The 2017 Dundee Hills bottling consists 100% of 41-year-old Draper Selection clonal material from Oracle, Westrey’s estate Vineyard, located in the Dundee Hills. Their old, own-rooted, non-irrigated vines really showed their greatness, producing a beautifully balanced and complete wine. It displays the broad, rich character of the 2017 vintage with the vibrant acidity from the first cool vintage in four years. Aromas of ripe pear and baked apple are accompanied by balanced fruit and wonderful natural acidity on the palate. The Chardonnay has a very “Burgundian” texture on the palate.
Each barrel was vinified separately in French oak using multiple a diversity of yeasts to increase complexity. The wine underwent a complete malo-lactic fermentation before bottling. It was left on the lees during the aging process to add a slight yeasty character and a velvety texture. This ten barrel lot had 15% new oak in it. After a traditional Burgundian clarification regime during cold-stabilization, the wine was bottled in September of 2018, without filtration, after 12 months on the lees. Only 268 cases produced.
About the Producer
Westrey Wine Company was founded in 1993 by co-winemakers Amy Wesselman and David Autrey, along with David’s father, Robert Autrey, in Oregon’s burgeoning Willamette Valley. While getting Westrey off the ground, Amy was the General Manager and Assistant Winemaker for David Lett at the Eyrie Vineyards and then the Executive Director at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, a position to which she has recently returned. Amy and David focus on crafting elegant Pinot Noir wines, fruit-driven "Burgundian"-style Chardonnay and crisp, refreshing Pinot Gris. The wines are designed to be balanced and ageworthy, always complementing and enlivening the food with which they are served.
Sourcing fruit both from the vineyards of long-time and well respected friends in the Willamette Valley and from their own Oracle vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA, Amy and David use these various puzzle pieces of fruit to build complexity into their wines. Vineyard-designated bottlings are designed to showcase the connection between the individual farms where the grapes are grown and the final personality of the wine.
Farming practices: Amy and David strive to grow their grapes and make their wines using a sustainable approach. The vineyard is LIVE Certified, a credential that is earned by taking into account not only organic approaches to farming but also by considering the inputs and outputs of the farm as a whole. Through their commitment to the !Salud! program Amy and David help to provide healthcare to vineyard workers who are otherwise uninsurable. The winery currently produces approximately 4,000 to 5,000 cases annually.
MATT KRAMER: “Westrey is an exemplar of Oregon pinot noir perfectionism. Few, if any, Oregon wineries exceed Westrey in pinot noir quality, even when their prices are well in excess of anything Westrey asks.”