2021 Stoller Estate Chardonnay
96 points - Decanter magazine
Tasting NOTES FROM WINEMAKER, KATE PAYNE BROWN
The aromatics shine with notes of flinty minerality, white blossoms, honeydew melon, and a whisper of sea air, while flavors of star fruit, elderflower, and lemon curd come forward on the palate. The concrete vessel as well as the extended time on lees informed the wine’s palate shape, creating breadth and texture to support the dynamic flavor profile.
The 2021 growing season was warmer than average in the Willamette Valley, producing beautifully ripe fruit with vibrant flavors. A dry spring led to lingering rain showers during bloom, which reduced the yield in some blocks. Then, an abnormal heatwave spread across the valley, with temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, the fruit prospered as high temperatures occurred between bloom and véraison when berries were hard and less sensitive to damage. Temperatures tapered off prior to harvest, with warm days and cool nights, which allowed the fruit to ripen at an even and slower pace. Quick yet seemingly smooth, harvest started on August 21 with little to no breaks until we finished on September 26. The resulting wines are balanced with focused flavors, stunning fruit, gorgeous vibrancy, and incredible aging potential.