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 2017 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.
Vintage and Vineyards
2017 was the earliest and warmest growing season in recent memory. The grapevines budded and began ripening very early, which led to a very early harvest of fruit with low acidity and very good flavor development. Hogue Chardonnay is always a consistent blend harvested from a number of premier vineyards, and the 2017 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.