Walla Walla winemaker Kurt Schlicker crafts this blend of nearby Birch Creek and Freewater Rocks vineyards much differently that his Chardonnay off the Wahluke Slope. This is 100 percent barrel fermented with 50 percent new French oak, and while 72% of the juice went throughout malolactic fermentation both lots were aged on the lees for 10 months. There’s a steady theme of toast and butterscotch aromas, but the nose also flashes pineapple, apple, lemon, apricot skin and honeysuckle. That oak pushes through inicely on the palate, joined by pear, apple and buttery caramel flavors. It shows nice balance already with a touch of apple peel bitterness, but lovers of this style of Chardonnay should embrace it even more in several years.
Production: 581 cases