Ponzi Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve Willamette Valley 2012

Light yellow-gold color; peach, some honey on the nose; medium body with peach, nectarine, white fruits on the palate.

Nice depth, balance, complexity, layers of flavors, silky in the mouth—shades of crème brûlée, good acidity (3.46 pH), nicely long and pleasing finish with fruit continuing to shine through.

This is my second evaluation of the wine, and it confirms previous. Pure, clean, racy thanks to the attention to acidity, delicious expression of chardonnay. Fermented in oak using wild yeast, 100% malolactic fermentation, stirred on the lees once a week for six months to develop depth and graceful character, aged in neutral oak barrels (500 liter barrels, twice size of barriques, steamed not charred to allow greater expression of fruit) for 18 months to evolve into complex, rich effort.

The Willamette Valley (south of Portland) holds a place among the special wine regions of the world, notable for the strictest label laws in the U.S. and commitment to environment and worker-friendly agriculture. Oregon amy be better known for delicate, superb pinot noir, but—like Burgundy—acres that grow great pinot also grow great chard. This is example, fashioned by a superior winemaker—Luisa Ponzi, second generation of Ponzi family winemakers, and an example of how some of the best winemakers in the world now are women. It is biology—statistically women have superior noses to men and more taste receptors than men. Freed from gender discrimination, they rise to the top of the profession. $28-35

Ponzi website
Second photo: Tasting room and vineyards at Ponzi
Third photo: winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Ponzi Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve
Ponzi tasting room, vineyard
Luisa Ponzi