2021 Chehalem Estate Grüner Veltliner
91 points - Wine Enthusiast
TASTING NOTES FROM WINEMAKER, KATIE SANTORA
An exotic wine with pops of tropical flavor, opening with passionfruit and dragonfruit and leading into white peach and a sweetly vegetal note like fresh spring peas from the garden. The palate is well-balanced, beginning with a clean line of brightness that starts on the tip of the tongue and follows throughout as a mouthwatering thread of sweetness joins on the mid-palate. This is complemented by light texture from the influence of neutral oak barrels.
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 veraison 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.