Four wines from our friends at Chehalem, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Let’s dig in.
2020 Chehalem Rose of Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains – Classically fruity, almost impossibly so at times, this wine is all strawberries and flowers, with some sweet pineapple in the mix for good measure. It’s a simple wine and one which can be a bit heavy with its aggressive sweetness, but it’s such an expressive and exuberant experience that it’s difficult not to fall for it. B+ / $25
2020 Chehalem Inox Unoaked Chardonnay Willamette Valley – Fresh, with immediately prominent notes of creamy lemon curd, pineapple, and some tangerine. The body is almost chewy in its density, which works well with the bright, juicy finish — layered with notes of lime leaf and coconut. A perfect summer sipper. A- / $20
2019 Chehalem Pinot Gris Chehalem Mountains – This is textbook Oregon pinot gris, boldly fruity, moderately floral, and amply acidic, with sustained notes of lemon peel and lime leaf on the finish. There’s a creamy, bold enough body to keep everything cohesive, though the wine never challenges the senses. Lingering vanilla hangs on for the finish. Another solid summer selection. A- / $20
2019 Chehalem Pinot Noir Corral Creek Vineyard – With more sweetness here than expected, this wine showcases cherry notes — though more maraschino than black — with notes of strawberry jam, tea leaf, and a hint of cinnamon all in the mix. The finish is on the jammy side, overly extracted but with enough herbal nuance and engaging cola notes to keep things lively. Best with food by far. B+ / $30