2015 Phelps Creek Vineyards, Chardonnay “Lynette” Columbia Gorge, Oregon.
Phelps Creek Vineyards, established in 1990, is a small boutique winery that focuses on estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and owned and run by Bob Morus and his family. Morus is a winegrower, and he believes in his fruit, for him the vineyard care takes center stage in PhelpsCreek’s wine production and he tends his vines using sustainable agricultural practices that are combined with strict management of the fruit yields. This leads to the higher concentration of flavors and a noted luxurious intensity in their bottlings. Located in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge, Phelps Creek does some wonderfully crafted wines, with a great set of wines like this cuvee Lynette Chardonnay which was overseen by the highly talented Gevrey-Chambertin vigneron Alexandrine Roy of Domaine Marc Roy, who has been helping this small winery craft Burgundy style and class wines since about 2007. Roy has brought a real sense of purity and direct to Phelps Creek and you can easily see her own Domaine Marc Roy in her efforts here and she has a wonderful touch, as this gorgeous Lynette Chardonnay proves. The Columbia Gorge is a dramatic region, significantly different from the Willamette Valley and has some fascinating vineyards and wines to discover, and Morus, who first planted Pinot Noir in 1990, added a block of Dijon clone, that I believe is Clone 96, Chardonnay two years later in 2002, which forms the backbone of this wine. Alexandrine’s wines also remind me of John Paul’s wines at cameron Winery, especially her signature Cuvee Alexandrine Pinot Noir, which is on par with Paul’s Clos Electrique, and the 2016 is absolutely lovely and a wine not to me missed if you love Oregon Pinot and for Chardonnay fans, this Lynette is something incredibly special, I think it might be my favorite Oregon Chardonnay!
Ms Roy and Bob have winner here with the expressive 2015 Lynette Chardonnay, it really reminds me a lot of John Raytek’s beautiful Ceritas wines with it’s purity and textual grace, it certainly is expressive and unique stuff that deserves attention. This Phelps Creek Vineyards Chard shows crisp mineral focus with layers that fill the palate as you sip it in the glass, it gains density and nuance as it gets air revealing apple, pear, lemon and peach fruits, soft floral tones, wet stones, a hint of brioche, clarified cream, delicate and polished wood notes and clove spice. Not as weighty of powerful as Wente clone, but a wine of serious impact and complexity, it give a wonderful performance with tons of personality and charm. If you had tried the best of Oregon Chardonnay, like the mentioned Cameron or the likes of Brick House, Bergstrom, Evening Land and Westerly to name a few, you need to try this Phelps Creek Lynette Chardonnay. This lightly golden hued Chardonnay is really coming into its own and should drink well for another 5 to 10 years, though its already in the great place, especially with food, I can imagine it with lobster and swordfish, in fact that makes my mouth water, and it should be awesome with soft cheeses too, in particular Époisses, that incredible Bourgogne washed rind intense creamy cheese that is washed in brine and Marc de Bourgogne, pomace from Côte-d’Or brandy. The basic Chard and Pinot here at Phelps Creek Vineyards are very solid too, and represent good value for the money, but these special cuvees are truly exceptional, be on the lookout for them!
($42 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive