Grapelive: Wine of the Day August 25, 2019

2018 Kelley Fox Wines, Pinot Blanc, Freedom Hill Vineyard, Coastal Range, Willamette Valley, Oregon -photo grapelive

2018 Kelley Fox Wines, Pinot Blanc, Freedom Hill Vineyard, Coastal Range, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
One of the most exciting and brilliant white wines in Oregon, the 2018 Kelley Fox Pinot Blanc is again a class act, following up on the awesome 2017 version with gorgeous detailing and texture that rivals top Chablis or many white Burgundies! The Freedom Hill Vineyard, planted in 1982 is set on marine sedimentary soils in the Coastal Range area of the Willamette Valley with a glorious southeast exposure that soaks up the sun and produces wines of ripe and complex flavors, and while known for Pinot Noir mainly, the Pinot Blanc is is amazing as this beautiful wine shows. Fox’s Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc comes from a small, under 2 acre parcel of vines and she has shown a majestic touch with this site and grape. The neutral Burgundy barrel-fermented Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc is bright and full of energy with a medium full body showing a touch of phenolics and mineral crunchiness, finishing with lingering toast and brisk mouth watering acidity.

Kelley is understandably proud as can be with her Pinot Blanc, she notes that, this is true, 100% Pinot Blanc, as there is no Auxerrois (which is often found in Oregon versions) in this bottling, and she made it much the same way as she does her Chardonnay(s), this wine was whole cluster-pressed after picking, It was then settled/cleared in tank for a couple of days before racking to neutral Burgundy oak barrels to go through primary and then malo. It was raised for 6 to 7 months before bottling in the mentioned used French oak, with this elevage adding to the complexity and mouth feel, giving a slight leesy richness, while retaining its purity of form, energy and mineral tones. The 2018 vintage is crisp and stony with layers of lemony citrus fruits along with a hint of golden apple and apricot along with wet rock, a touch of mountain herbs, peach tart with buttered crust, subtle white flowers and a bite of orange/grapefruit rind tanginess. This pale white gains presence and mouth feel in the glass as it warms and opens, very impressive stuff!
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive