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bergstrom chardI’ve been lurking about the Willamette Valley searching for the perfect Pinot—a noble calling although thus far unsuccessful. But what I found instead was this stunning Chardonnay that while, perhaps, falling short of perfection, was head and shoulders above the pretenders to that exalted throne. Reminiscent of the likes of Montrachet, the best that Burgundy has to offer, it suggests Oregonians might rethink their almost total commitment to Pinot Noir.

Flamboyant, yet balanced and full of charm. Bursting with citrus and pear, seductive aromas of hazelnuts mingling with crème fraiche and hints of buttered toast make this a sensuous olfactory orgy. Concentrated and creamy but crisp and agile on the palate, it sees 40% new French oak applied with delicacy and restraint. The finish is long and satisfying with mineral notes coming to the forefront. If you want to splurge on a white wine, without paying Burgundian prices, this would be a good choice.

Although Bergstrom makes lovely Pinot Noir, this Chardonnay, a barrel selection from several vineyards, all from the Dijon clone, is their flagship wine.  They are a mid-sized operation producing about 10,000 cases per year.

Score: 94

Price: $85

Alc: 14.1%