At Winebow’s tasting on Tuesday I got to talk to David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I tasting four of his wines and liked them a lot. The whites, which all had screw caps, were the 2006 Pinot Blanc, the 2006 “CH” , and unoaked chardonnay, and the 2007 Pinot Gris. He was showing one red, the 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which has yet to be released.
The chardonnay, and the pinot gris, had a finish on them that I am used to finding in white Burgundies, an almost candy-like taste and feeling that I compare to cotton candy, or barbe de papa, as the French call it. (I was at a carnival in Nuits-St. George when I put two and two together.) I’d always wondered why I’d get this only in Burgundian chardonnays until I was talking to a local winemaker — this was awhile ago, and I recall it being Greg Gove of Peconic Bay Winery — and he said it had to do with the type of chardonnay clones, and that Dijon clones give the wine that taste.
So I asked Adelsheim about it.
[The hard to hear video is of him talking about the difference between the 2006 and 2007 vintages in Oregon. 2006 was hotter.]
He seems to think the cooler climate in Oregon, and Burgundy, led to the flavor, which was also detectible in the pinot gris. He does use Dijon clones for his chardonnay, and some googling has found that he was a pioneer of their use in Oregon. The clones used in sunny California were just not getting ripe in Oregon. One article here. Another here.
This leads me to wonder which Long Island wineries have planted these clones, and if they believe it was the right choice.