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<a href="">Crowley Wines</a>

2018 Four Winds Chardonnay

Four Winds Vineyard
75% Wente clone, 25% Draper
Cases made: 182


Vineyard info: Four Winds was planted in 1993 to Wente clone Chardonnay (1.34 acres) and Dijon clone Chardonnay (.58 acres). Elevation is 800 feet and south facing. Most recently in 2017 and 2018 Draper clone was added to the mix via grafting, amounting to an additional 3.05 acres of Chardonnay. Own rooted and dry farmed.


Appellation and soil: This vineyard is located in the McMinnville Coast Range. The soils have a volcanic origin, primarily Saum, similar to Nekia, with a strip of Jory running along the northwest edge of the vineyard. They are made up of a rocky base of weathered basalt that was covered by wind-blown (colluvial) loam, which was derived from eroded basalt higher up in the coast range. As compared to other appellations in the Willamette Valley, these soils are uniquely shallow for winegrowing with low total available moisture. The resulting wines have pronounced leanness and mineral tones.


General info: 2018 is an exciting vintage for our Chardonnay program. The Draper clone we grafted into Four Winds landed in the wines and has built in another voice that is sophisticated and complex. Blending trials on this wine were difficult. We had new barrels, new juice, and a trace of what is called “reductive” winemaking to insert as an aromatic compliment. But it all worked! Many things have come to fruition to make our Chardonnay program better than ever.


The nose presents salt, wet stone and cement which merge with herb and flinty notes to generate energy and excitement. Rounded out by hits of the usual lemon/lime and pear, the Draper clone brings austerity and a taut nose while Wente brings the expressive fruitiness. The mouth is angular and rich. The oak is subtle and elegant. The 20 months lees contact bring complexity and sweetness reminiscent of brulee and delicate maple. Dried apricot makes an appearance as this wine stays clean, mouthwatering, rich, and long.