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Big Table Farm, “Wild Bee” ChardonnayWillamette Valley, Oregon 2019 (750mL)  |  FREE Shipping on any 6 bottles!

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Big Table Farm, “Wild Bee” Chardonnay Willamette Valley, Oregon 2019 (750mL)

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Earth
Body
Tannin
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Alcohol
Big Table Farm is one of the hottest labels on the market right now, proven by consistently glowing reviews, the inability to hang onto anything other than the current vintage, and the overwhelming success of past offers at SommSelect. Truly, their Pinot Noirs have been met with unrelenting demand here, so much so, we’ve hardly had a chance to enjoy one for ourselves! My colleague Mark Osburn decided to change that: Just last month, he trekked up to Willamette Valley and tasted through their entire star-studded lineup. He quickly learned that (1) Clare Carver is one of the most zany, forthright, and inspiring people in the industry, and (2) Brian Marcy’s winemaking genius extends well beyond Pinot Noir and into today’s “Wild Bee” Chardonnay. This exceptional creation was so remarkable, it resulted in a deal quite literally at Big Table’s big table—Mark came for the Pinot, but he left with a deliciously charming Chardonnay.

Forget Burgundy, today’s “Wild Bee” is in a class all its own: Built on a layer of finely pulverized minerality, judiciously influenced by barrel aging, and loaded with creamy orchard fruit, this is my pick for domestic Chardonnay value of the year! Today’s gem further strengthens my belief that when it comes to an honest expression of world-famous Willamette Valley, Big Table Farm is a bonafide master. There is no artifice or insincerity here, and the only bull-you-know-what you’ll find is used as fertilizer from their own herd of cattle. If you’re after aromatically pure, soul-lifting Chardonnay from the heart of pastoral Oregon, Big Table Farm is it. Just like everything they make, quantities are severely limited.

With previous positions at high-profile Napa wineries like Marcassin and Blankiet Estate, Brian Marcy is no stranger to the spotlight. But, when he Clare wanted to expand their “farm”—which in 2005 consisted of chickens running amok in the backyard of their small home—they jointly agreed to move away from Napa Valley’s exorbitantly priced real estate and try their luck in Oregon. They found solace an hour’s drive from Portland, in the small town of Gaston, ideally wedged between the sub-AVAs of Chehalem Mountain and Yamhill-Carlton District. They realized their dream in short order and now their 70 acres and 1890s-era farmhouse is replete with livestock, crops, beehives, and grapevines. They grow everything, raise everything—truly, this is a full-fledged self-sustaining farm.

But we’re not here to buy meat, honey, or produce (not today, anyway) so let’s get to the wine: Their “Wild Bee” Willamette Valley Chardonnay bottling pulls from each of their six Chardonnay sites stationed in the central and northern sections of the valley. Brian’s philosophy for his regional bottlings is a much-needed breath of fresh air: “It would be arrogant of me to think I could predict which fruit will turn into the best wine,” he says, “so I treat all with equal diligence.” After hand harvesting, the fruit ferments via ambient yeasts in mostly neutral French barrels and, after several months of aging, is transferred into a stainless steel blending tank for a couple of days. Minimal sulfur is used throughout. It is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and each annually rotating, hand-applied label is designed by Clare—except for this one! This special, charcoal drawing was designed by another sensational artistic talent, April Coppini

It’s worth reiterating that this is a young wine, without anything stripped away, so if you want to fully enjoy “Wild Bee” right now, plenty of air and a bulbous stem is the trick. After a minimum 30-minute decant and a service temperature around 50-55 degrees, this vivacious Chardonnay comes alive in a Burgundy stem, erupting with high-toned yellow and green apple, juicy pear, apricot, and peach. With each swirl of the glass, new elements reveal themselves in the form of crushed stones and nuts, lees, honeycomb, lemon curd, citrus blossoms, acacia, and baking spice. The multi-textured palate is alive with energy and a supple waxiness that coats your tastebuds, and the mouthwatering finish is driven by crushed minerality. But, above all, its purity rings loud and true, showcasing the essence of sustainably farmed Willamette Valley vines and a deft, unmanipulated touch in the celler. This is one of the great Chardonnays of the year, domestic or international, and it comes in at a price everyone can afford. Cheers!



Big Table Farm, “Wild Bee” Chardonnay Willamette Valley, Oregon 2019 - SommSelect

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  • CountryUSA
  • RegionOregon
  • Sub-RegionWillamette Valley
  • SoilVolcanic & Sedimentary
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay 100%
  • Alcohol12.3%
  • OakMostly Neutral French Barrels

  • CountryUSA
  • RegionOregon
  • Sub-RegionWillamette Valley
  • SoilVolcanic & Sedimentary
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay 100%
  • Alcohol12.3%
  • OakMostly Neutral French Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025+
  • Decanting30+ Minutes
  • PairingPan-Fried Snapper w/ Butter-Parsnip Purée

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