Lean, Kinetic Chardonnay - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Lean, Kinetic Chardonnay

Division winemakers Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe (Photo: Sam Slater)

Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe make a dizzying number of libations, most of it wine, including a handful of chardonnays all quite distinct from one another and drawn from far-flung corners of the Willamette Valley. This one is “Trois” (of four), from the biodynamic Johan Vineyard in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA, the rolling Perrydale Hills just west of the Eola Hills and subject to a torrent of wind during the growing season, which thickens skins and slows fruit maturation to a crawl. This wine comes from Block 6, which the Division team grafted over to the Draper selection of clones in 2016—that selection, said to originate in Meursault, was collected by the Eyrie’s David Lett from Jerry Draper’s vineyard on Spring Mountain, and has been grown at the Eyrie estate since the seventies. Norris and Monroe selected the clone for its savor, and that’s what you get here in Trois, bright and lip-smacking at all of 12.3% alcohol. You can almost smell the wind in the phenolics of this wine: lean, a touch smoky with lees, offering a kinetic, savory green-apple tension, with a textural rasp of acidity for chicken braised with mushrooms.


Division 2021 Van Duzer Corridor Trois Johan Vineyard Chardonnay 

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

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