2018 Hogue Chardonnay
During the grape growing season, Eastern Washington boasts warm summer days followed by cool nights, ensuring that grapes ripen fully while retaining ample natural acidity. The 2018 Chardonnay reveals juicy apple and pear on the nose with lemon meringue pie, creamy vanilla oak, and toast. A rich, well-balanced palate follows with flavors of fresh apple pie, lemon curd, and cream. Pair this fruit-driven, food-friendly wine with salmon-stuffed crab cakes, grilled lemon chicken, and fettuccini alfredo.
THE VINTAGE AND VINEYARDS
2018 started with an early budbreak but a cool, wet spring delayed bloom until mid-June. This delayed veraison and subsequently harvest enough to let the grapes ripen under the cooler temperatures of September and October. Hogue Chardonnay is always a consistent blend harvested from a number of premier vineyards, and the 2018 blend included fruit from Hogue Ranch (35%), Wyckoff (24%), Flying M (10%), and other Columbia Valley vineyards. Grapes grown in the cooler mesoclimates benefited from slow, even ripening and complex layers of flavor. Grapes sourced from the hillside vineyards benefited from the well-drained soils and long hours of sunshine, developing vibrant, tropical fruit flavors.
Our Chardonnay grapes were harvested at night or in the early morning, when the fruit was cool. To emphasize the effusive fruit character in this Chardonnay, we fermented the juice in stainless steel between 52°F and 59°F. After fermentation, 57% of the wine was aged with French and American oak for 7–8 months, imparting creamy, toasty complexity. The remaining wine was aged unoaked, retaining bright fruit flavors. To add softness and texture, 60% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation.
Harvest Dates: August 31–September 25, 2018
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Varietal Percentages: 97% Chardonnay, 2% Muscat Canelli, 1% Viognier
Brix at Harvest: 24.3°
Residual Sugar: 3.11g/L
Case Production: 75,700