Mike Januik continues to prove that he’s one of Washington state’s top talents with vineyard-designate Chardonnay, and this effort reflects the on-going work of viticulturist Ed Kelly and their work at Stillwater Creek with ENTAV Clone 95 — material that originated in Côte-d’Or region of Burgundy and was first offered to the California wine industry in 2014. Back at the Woodinville winery, Januik fermented the entire lot in French oak — 35% new barrels — aged it on the lees for six months and had it to through malolactic fermentation to build mouthfeel. It opens with notes of fresh apple, honey, and white flowers. On the palate, there’s bright acidity with lemon, joined by toffee, melon and ripe pear, making it lightly oaked with plenty of texture. In many parts of the West Coast, a Chardonnay of this quality would be selling for twice this price and it might not be half as good.
Awards: Cascadia International Wine Competition — gold medal for oaked Chardonnay, 91 points
Production: 1,683 cases