2018 Lingua Franca Estate Chardonnay
Wine Details for 2018 Lingua Franca Estate Chardonnay
|Type of Wine||Oregon White : Oregon enjoys quite a reputation as a winemaking region. Some of the best U.S. wine comes from this particular region, and you simply can't decide which are better: red or white wines. Among white grape varieties, the most commonly planted ones in Oregon are Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Semillon, and Arneis.|
: Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever.
The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.
The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.
The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.
Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.
The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.
: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
: Oregon is a majestic region, a veritable ocean of lush, intense greenery, spread across an intriguing, uneven terrain. You could pick any direction while standing on a hill, and enjoy a view that is more breathtaking than what was written in the finest works of fantasy. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Oregon is also home to some of America's most groundbreaking viticultural accomplishments.
The two best-represented grape varietals in Oregon are Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. However, it is the Pinot Noir wines that receive most of the critical attention. While they're not always as aggressively fruity as a lot of popular reds from around the world, they bring an intense and memorable flavor combination of their own. Expect a strong earthy framework, one that supports a complex mixture of cranberries, coffee, tobacco, blueberry, and spice. With every sip, your understanding of these wines grows in a deep and personal way, broadening your viticultural horizons. A good wine offers a full conversation with the person drinking it. Why not sit down with a bottle or three and hear their life stories? They'll be by your side for years to come, as loyal friends you can converse with whenever you want.
|Appellation||Eola Amity Hills|
|Climat/Vineyard||Lingua Franca Estate Vineyard|
Decanter | 96 DEC
This sleek yet rich wine is packed with ripe citrus, Honeycrisp apple, peach and pineapple tones. Barrel fermented and aged in 40% new oak, it showcases spectacular fruit on the palate that is softened by creamy, lightly toasty barrel flavors.
Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE
Pale yellow. Mineral-accented nectarine, orange, Anjou pear, iodine and white flowers on the intensely perfumed nose. Smooth, fleshy and dry in the mouth, offering concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of fennel, sweet butter and candied lemon peel. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes minerally, smoky and impressively long, featuring lingering citrus and pit fruit notes. 40% new oak.
Vinous Media | 94 VM
No written review provided | 94 W&S
A wine that unfurls slowly with impressive results. Multilayered kiwi, green apple and stony mineral accents build structure and richness on a lingering finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,000 cases made.
Wine Spectator | 93 WS