The 2018 Averaen Willamette Valley Chardonnay comes from 2 different Oregon AVAs, the Chehalem Mountains and Mount Pisagah. Fermented with native yeasts, and aged in 10% new French oak barrels, 80% neutral barrels, and 10% Ssainless steel. The wine completed 2/3 of itself in malolactic fermentation so it is imbued with a creamy texture. Aromas of tropical fruits, including pineapple and passion fruit, beeswax, citrus and floral notes of jasmine. The palate is generous, and mouth-coating, with nuances of baked pie crust and waves of salinity. The attractively balanced acidity does a lively dance along the mid palate throughout long and satisfying finish. And I’ll bet this Averaen Chardonnay will outperform most commercial Chardonnays at the table.
Averaen is a newer Oregon winery started by the same fellas that began Banshee wines in Sonoma. They thought about the similarities of the Sonoma Coast climates and certain AVAs in Oregon and decided they wanted to go on an Oregon Pinot adventure and start Averaen.
Head winemaker Mordechai Kotler is a Southern California native who spent most of his formative years bouncing between LA and Orange County, kind of like us here in LB/Signal Hill. He went to college at Linfield in McMinville Oregon, who happens to be the rival school to my alma mater. Like the rest of us Southern California kids who made our way to the Pacific Northwest, he fell in love with wine and craft beer and found his home there. After a brief stint teaching, he then found himself in the cellar (doesn’t everyone?) where over the past few years he has honed his craft to make some kick-ass wines at very attractive prices.