Arenness Cellars 2018 Chardonnay, Columbia Gorge $27

By on November 9, 2021

Attorney-turned-winemaker Robert Bailey, a product of Washington State University’s enology program, continues to trickle out micro-lots of buzzworthy bottlings under his project in Portland. He first attracted attention with single-lots of Cabernet Sauvignon from acclaimed Washington vineyards, and his 2018 off DuBrul Vineyard ranked No. 11 on The Seattle Times year-end list for 2021. Here’s a delectable effort in just his second commercial vintage with America’s favorite wine, which he pulled from the Washington side of the cooler Columbia Gorge. His use of French oak builds texture without imparting barrel notes, starting with clean, fruit-forward aromas of lemon curd, apricot, dried Bartlett pear and a bit of pineapple. Pleasing richness on the entry leads to delicious balance and a flow of flavors that include honeydew melon and cantaloupe, finished with a nibble of pear skin. Bailey offers up this recipe via chef Greg Priest, whose résumé included Albertina’s Place in Portland, for shrimp ceviche to enjoy with this Chardonnay.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 28 cases

Alcohol 13.9%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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