UCLA-educated biochemist Meredith Bell grew up in the Willamette Valley and her fascination with Chardonnay explains why she shared in the launch of Chardonnay-only Statera Cellars in 2014. For this Craft Wine Co., project, she and Laura Cusick worked with five non-Dijon clones of Chardonnay — Calera, Wenté, Musqué, Mount Eden and Mendoza — and the lots spent 16 months in a blend of new and neutral oak. It brings a golden straw color and comes across as creamy, laden with brioche, honeyed almonds and toasted marshmallow. While there’s a generous approach with barrel, its body offers balance and structured to stand up to any fowl-friendly meal. It received a gold medal last fall at the Great Northwest Invitational in Hood River, Ore., and Craft Wine Co., operates a tasting room at 116 W. Main St. in Carlton.
Production: 175 cases