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🕵️ Score! 96 POINT Willamette Chardonnay

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Ponzi Vineyards
2018 Willamette Valley Reserve Chardonnay

“One of the brightest stars among the new generation in Oregon” Wine Enthusiast calls them.
 

Ponzi! One of our personal favorites is BACK with a supercharged 96-point Reserve Chard!
 

A dazzling 40% off drops it under $30. We think this puts many a Grand Cru to shame, especially at our price.
 

The Ponzi family moved to Willamette in the 60s with the goal of making world-class wines. Fifty years later, as one of the OGs of Oregon, they are still delivering the goods. Enough so that Bollinger took notice. The famed Champagne house acquired them last year.
 

A recent Wine Spectator piece titled “The Ponzi Legacy” puts history into perspective: “Dick Ponzi came to Oregon in a flatbed truck. In the mix were his wife, Nancy, their kids, two cats, a dog, a canoe, a piano and four barrels of homemade wine… With no experience in viticulture or winemaking, the Ponzis set about planting a 20-acre vineyard in 1970… These days, Dick, 86, and Nancy, 79, have few day-to-day responsibilities at the winery. Nearly 30 years ago they had already started handing over the reins to their three children… It is indeed a legacy worth preserving.”
 

Per Wine Advocate heiress and winemaker “Luisa Ponzi is at the top of her game” having learned a few things in Burgundy working with the mythical Christophe Roumier and before at Vietti in Piedmont, as the first US lady to receive a certificate in enology and viticulture in Beaune, France.
 

As they say, the proof is in the pudding! Umm… bottle, we mean bottle.
 

Vinous certifies that “Under the guidance of Luisa Ponzi, the quality of white, as well as red wines from this pioneering producer, have taken great strides upward… There’s always a generous character to Ponzi’s Chardonnays but they have an enviable track record for aging, even from hot vintages. Luisa Ponzi did post-graduate viticulture and enology studies in Beaune in the late 1980s and that influence shows in the wines’ structure and balance. That said, the Chardonnays are definitely not demure and drink extremely well on release as well.”
 

Extremely well is in the glass!
 

Clean and focused with a tingling mid-palate, this is the ultimate midpoint between a zippy Chablis and a ripe Meursault in style. It’s oozing with class and complexity, layered with refined oak, textured and bright. Perfectly balanced with power and elegance, it delivers explosive richness of pear, melon, papaya, and sweet spices. The finish is long and lively, with honeysuckle blossoms and Tahitian vanilla lingering easily over a minute. Quite the showstopper, it’s a sublime pairing candidate for bacon-wrapped prawn kabobs.
 

Drooling here just thinking of the feasts we can pop this at over the festive months ahead, PLEASE leave us a few bottles!
 

96 Points – James Suckling

“Love the aromas of fossilized shells and sliced cooked apples. Quince and aniseed, too. Perfumed. Full-bodied, yet creamy and compact with a beautiful, long finish of honey, straw and lime. Sustainable. Drink or hold.”

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