As you can imagine, we taste a lot of local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We are fortunate to be afforded an insight into each vintage and more importantly, have acquired an insider's knowledge of the Willamette Valley's distinct AVA's and single vineyard bottlings. The phrase 'Burgundian in style' has become a cliché at this point, yet for as often as it is used to describe Oregon wine, there are only a few producers that manage to achieve it. Walter Scott is one of them.
The fires of 2020 were devastating for Walter Scott. Sadly, there was no Pinot Noir produced (side note: on the bright side, his prized fruit was used to craft the best local rosé Andy and I have ever had!). When tasting through the lineup of these newly released 2021's another phrase came to mind: 'You don't know what you have until it's gone'. As we are all recovering from 2020 in general, a deeper appreciation has set in for the things that we once took for granted. This thought raced through my mind as each of the wines we tasted were excellent as expected. This was no surprise for a Walter Scott lineup, but it struck me that consistency is not something that we should get used to, it's an achievement to be celebrated.
Like most of our favorite wines, Walter Scott's cuvées are made in limited quantities and this is often the only chance we get to carry them. We've assembled a specially priced 3 pack of Chardonnay and a 3 pack of Pinot Noir that we felt best exemplify the range of vineyard sites that they are working with. If you're unfamiliar, you can't discuss Oregon wine without including Walter Scott and this is an excellent introduction to both the whites and reds.
To the already initiated, this is a great opportunity to add the 2021 vintage to your collection; you know, for consistency's sake...
2021 Walter Scott 'Cuvée Anne' Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: 'Cuvée Anne' is a barrel selection from Justice, Koosah, Seven Springs, Sojeau and X Novo Vineyards. Fermented and aged in 500 & 350-liter barrels for 12 months (40% new) followed by another 3 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.
Impressions: Aromas of lime zest, underripe peach, cardamom and orange blossom lead towards a fresh and vibrant palate with hints of salinity and floral notes on the finish. A perfect compilation of Eola Chardonnay in 2021.
2021 Walter Scott 'Hyland Vineyard' McMinville Chardonnay- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: From an organically farmed site whose vines sit on marine sedimentary soil. Fermented and aged in 500 & 350-liter barrels for 12 months (50% new) followed by another 4 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.
Impressions: Aromas of meyer lemon, mandarins, dried apricots, white flowers and honeysuckle reveal a mineral forward, slightly concentrated palate with hints of ginger and chalk on the finish. Hyland's pulsating energy, bottled.
2021 Walter Scott 'X-Novo Vineyard' Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: From an organically farmed site whose vines sit on volcanic influenced soil. Fermented and aged in 500 & 350-liter barrels for 12 months (50% new) followed by another 3 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.
Impressions: Aromas of nectarines, brown pear, dried mango and lemongrass reveal a rich, concentrated palate with hints of vanilla and flint on an extremely lengthy finish. Simply put, X-Novo is one of the best sites for Chardonnay in the Willamette, 45 minute decant recommended.