Her Silhouette Chardonnay

The Vintage: Some like it hot, and if that is what you are into, then 2015 is your kind of vintage. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. A clean, fully developed and relatively expressive vintage, 2015 (much like 2014) offers up a significant contrast to the frigidly cold yet scintillating vintages of 2010 and 2011. In the context of Pinot Noir vintages, there are showers and then there are growers.

We have grown wine in nearly the hottest and certainly the coldest vintages ever recorded in the Willamette Valley within a 6 year span. We have triumphed over vintages colder than Champagne, took what appeared to be rotted Chardonnay from Typhoon Pabuk and produced a Botrytis desert wine to rival Sauternes, sweltered under elevated evening temperatures and summer drought conditions that teased an unprecedented early harvest window. And, to borrow a line from Frank, “We did it our way.”

While some experienced pre-mature fermentation again this year, Ernie held out for rain before he pulled the trigger on Cluster Pluck 2015 (He looked so determined at midnight under the full moon doing the rain dance in block 2.) “Hey, whatever works...” Once again, this year the conditions were right for a sticky. This time it is Our Muse Viognier emulating the traditional late harvest beerenauslese style – complete with gold capsule.

You can read the full Harvest After Action Report (AAR) on our FLOG (Farming bLOG):


Tasting Notes: White gold leaf shrouds hibiscus, Easter lily, passion fruit and pink grapefruit zest with Key lime and Meyer lemon intermingled. Crisp and delineated yet sustained and textured by the impenetrable core of unadulterated Chardonnay buttressed by the immovable support of refreshing acidity. ​

Culinary Inclinations: (Cold) Chilled oysters on the half shell, (Warm) fish tacos with Savoy cabbage, sweet onions and garlic aioli, (Hot) grilled prosciutto wrapped prawns on skewers. Or, quite comforting as an aperitif as you prepare for the evening.

Her Silhouette Accolades:

2014 Her Silhouette

Bursting sun-fire yellow. Meyer lemon zest, freshly sliced star fruit and a hint of exotic oils segue to the rich mouth feel that blankets the palate with layered Chardonnay fruit, balanced with echoing acidity, and culminating in an enduring finish.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Pale gold. Mineral-laced pear nectarine and pineapple scents take on a hint of toasty lees. Juicy and focused on the palate offering gripping pear skin lemon pith fennel and quinine flavors that show a refreshingly bitter edge. Closes dry and nervy featuring building mineral and anise notes and very good persistence.

         - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 - 91 points

All stainless-fermented and aged, this deserves to be on your short list of can't-miss choices in a domestic Chardonnay. Year after year it scores well, with fresh, vivid fruit, a crisp and inviting mouthfeel, lively spices and ripe tree fruits. There's a seam of wintergreen running alongside in this new vintage, leaving your mouth feeling scrubbed clean.

          - Wine Enthusiast, August 2016 - 91 points, Editors' Choice

2013 Her Silhouette

Crystalline Safflower passes onto the prism of your palate, releasing the spectral flavors of Chardonnay. Vivid tangerine, guava and grapefruit peel permeate while being supported by zesty lime. A precisely aimed and laser focused palate of refreshing fruit character directs your attention to the fact that you like cleansing acidity in your Chardonnay. Linger on and prosper.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Light green-tinged yellow. Tightly focused lemon quince and mineral scents along with subtle herb and honey notes in the background. Chewy and dry on the palate offering bitter pear skin and peach pit flavors and a hint of tangy lemon zest that adds refreshing bite. Fleshes out slowly on the finish which hangs on with very good mineral-tinged persistence.

         - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 - 90 points

Here is an outstanding stainless-fermented Chardonnay, thick and fruity. It's totally loaded with ripe apple and pear-pastry goodness, and the flavors dive deep into a thoroughly delicious, textural finish.

          - Wine Enthusiast, April 2016 - 92 points, Editors’ Choice

2012 Her Silhouette

Solar flare yellow releasing aromas of grapefruit zest, mountain laurel, guava and meyer lemon. This Chardonnay is voluptuous on the palate with a pleasing texture and elegant demeanor. The richness from a remarkable growing season is tempered with crystalline acidity to induce a lingering and articulate finish. 71 case production.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Lifted and light, this stainless-steel-fermented chardonnay reads almost like an Alsace wine, its heady apple scents lifted with peach notes. The flavors are invigorating and tense, the pear-like juiciness framed by a phenolic grip. Chill it down for clam pasta.

          - Wine & Spirits Magazine, December 2015 – 91 points, Best Buy

An interesting comparison to the previous vintage, this wine has a point and a half more alcohol, with a rich, substantial mouthfeel. Ripe citrus fruit, light tropical fruit and full, open flavors are found on the palate. Drink this while in its youth, and let the previous vintage age another couple of years.

          - Wine Enthusiast, June 2015 – 90 points

2011 Her Silhouette

Bright and lucid yellow introduces lemongrass, ginger root, grapefruit zest, and fresh mango flesh. Pineapple and crisp green apple contribute elegance and purity of flavor as they streak across the palate unencumbered by ambiguity. The laser focused finish permeates with enduring vibrancy.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

If your tastes run to fruit-driven, all-stainless, crisp and steely Chardonnays, this is a great choice. Bright pineapple and citrus fruit flavors abound, and the acids, though substantial, are juicy and natural. The balance, freshness and overall value put this among best of class.

          - Wine Enthusiast, June 2015 – 90 points, Editors’ Choice

2010 Her Silhouette

Sunshine yellow in the glass leads to an intense expression of the chardonnay grape, complemented by ginger root zest and a hint of French tarragon. The palate texture is rich with a lime-kumquat mélange providing a drenching palate experience. Bracing acidity cleanses the palate leading to a lip-smacking and lingering afterglow.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

2009 Her Silhouette

​Golden straw color portrays the sublime stainless steel fermentation. Aromas of lemon thyme, passion fruit and freshly zested Meyer lemon rind provide focus for the palate. The wine permeates the senses with balanced texture and a full exposure of citrus, star fruit and minerality which is captured in the discipline of acidity and length.  311 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Tart and slender, this is deceptive at first it seems a little thin, but as it opens in the glass into a succulent, well-defined, racy wine with citrus and peach, mineral and herb. It's not delicate, but its muscularity is concealed behind elegant styling.

          - Wine Enthusiast, March 2011– 90 points, Editors’ Choice

Her Silhouette reveals Estate grown Chardonnay in its purest form. We strive to capture the pure, unadulterated essence of Chardonnay harvested at first light.

Her Silhouette is fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures to showcase the aromatic profile of Chardonnay. We block the malo-lactic conversion to preserve Chardonnay’s natural acidity providing a disciplined finish.

The combination of Estate grown Dijon Clone fruit from sedimentary soils, stewarded through fermentation with very little winemaking intervention results in unrelenting aromas with an intensely flavored palate experience punctuated with trenchant acidity. This is intentioned Oregon Chardonnay that exemplifies the true character of the vineyard, vintage and the variety.