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L'Angolo Estate Chardonnay '16
The Oregon wine industry is always in motion. Although I lived in Oregon for ten years, returning back to Chicago in 2007, so much has changed in those 16 years. One of the many changes is the arrival of Chardonnay as the state's other most important variety. While Oregon has always been known for Pinot Noir, it was Pinot Gris that many of the old guard wineries originally pinned their white wine hopes on. Today, Chardonnay is taking center stage, and in my humble opinion, Oregon is the place to buy the very best examples of that variety in America. Don't throw shade Napa and Sonoma!
The other change taking place in Oregon is the constant infusion of new producers. Today, we feature one such producer, Chase Renton of L'Angolo Estate. He caught the wine bug while studying abroad in Italy. Eventually he began his journey into wine, helping with harvests around the world.
When the opportunity came to purchase a 20-acre estate just west of Newberg in the Dundee Hills, his family jumped at the opportunity. They commercialized their first set of wines in the 2015, producing just 40 cases of Chardonnay, as well as two Pinot Noir wines in small quantities.
Chardonnay is the only white variety grown on the L’Angolo estate property. The Jory soil for which Oregon’s Dundee Hills are famous covers the vast majority of L’Angolo’s east-facing slope, accompanied by a small, stonier section of Nekia soil down by the winery. The property is farmed solely with organic methods.
We scored an amazing deal on the 2016 Estate Chardonnay, a wine that would normally retail for around $50. Like all the L’Angolo wines, this comes from estate fruit, mainly from Dijon clones, 76 and 95. It was aged for 13 months in French oak, with just 11% of those barrels new.
This wine is drinking beautifully right now. It offers hints of peach skin, lemon oil, and flowers on the nose. There is medium weight, with hints of toasted hazelnut, apricot, and orange on the palate. The fruit and acidity are perfectly in balance. Enjoy this alongside roasted pork tenderloin for a great pairing. Just 200 cases produced.
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