A First Taste of a Friend’s First Chardonnay
iOTA Cellars Expands
It’s a rare opportunity to taste a winemaker’s first wine, or their first wine from a new grape. We’re long time fans of our friends at iOTA Cellars Pinot Noir. They have been producing Pinot Noir commercially since the 2006 vintage, and we have been enjoying their wines from the beginning. In fact, we had a rare treat once when they gifted us a bottle of one of their “before commercial production” bottles.
In 2014, our friends decided to plant 1.5 acres of Chardonnay grapes in a new block at the Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard. We’re still a year or two away from estate Chardonnay, but that hasn’t stopped them from honing their skills at Oregon Chardonnay. This spring, they released their first vintage of Chardonnay from 2014. They used grapes from the Dukes Family Vineyards, neighbors of theirs in the Eola-Amity Hills section of Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Of course we ordered some this spring, and have let it rest for a few weeks since it arrived. Tonight, we couldn’t wait any longer and opened our first bottle. What a treat!
iOTA Cellars Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2014 ($35 by mail order from the winery)
Eye: Clear, medium gold color with a pale edge.
Nose: Medium plus intensity, aromas of underripe pears and floral notes of gardenia.
Mouth: Medium body with lively acidity and a nice persistent finish. A touch of oak is there, but it’s just a hint. A beautifully done Oregon Chardonnay, nice and lean with lots of tension. We can’t wait for the estate version in the coming years.
It’s a Monday night, so we had just pulled out some leftover Potée Champenoise from the freezer. We couldn’t wait any longer to try our friends’ Chardonnay, so we wanted something suitable, it was perfect as was the iOTA Cellars Chardonnay!