Year in and year out, a case can be made for Walla Walla Valley icon Woodward Canyon as home to the top Chardonnay in Washington. Its roots start with founder Rick Small, whose first wine as a hobby winemaker was Chardonnay. His passion for the noble white of Burgundy also is reflected by that fact that he first established Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard in 1977 by planting Chardonnay. And for 27 years, he’s made vaunted Columbia Gorge site Celilo Vineyard a part of his Chardonnay program, too. From the 2018 vintage, Kevin Mott and the Smalls created a blend that leans heavily (81%) on clone 108 from the family’s vineyard – the westernmost in the Walla Walla Valley – and supported by the Wente Clone aspects from Celilo (19%). The partial malolactic fermentation and all-French oak program (20% new) creates a clean and classic Chardonnay profile of lemon, Bosc pear, sandalwood and Granny Smith apple. Its oak influence is well-financed yet balanced, and the finish includes warm tropical notes joined by crème brûlée and supported by brightness. This defines “old vine Chardonnay” in Washington state, and it earned a gold medal at the 2019 Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition.
Production: 807 cases
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