00 Wines, Willamette Valley Chardonnay "VGW"
00 Wines, Willamette Valley Chardonnay "VGW"

00 Wines, Willamette Valley Chardonnay "VGW"

Oregon, United States 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$89.00

00 Wines, Willamette Valley Chardonnay "VGW"

Throwing around the names of Coche-Dury or Roulot in relation to West Coast Chardonnay, or most other producers in Burgundy, for that matter, may seem superfluous. But when the topic of discussion is “00,” it is not only appropriate: it is necessary. That’s because the winemakers and proprietors, Chris and Kathryn Hermann, have been laboring for close to a decade now to produce a Chardonnay from the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley that can compare to the world-renowned liquid gold of their favorite winemakers: Raphaël Coche and Jean-Marc Roulot. Now, we’ve had precious few bottles from either estate, but in a recent lineup of some other excellent white Burgundy, the “VGW” from 00 not only held its own but downright stole the show. And the press agrees. The Hermanns’ wines are getting rave reviews from writers and wine influencers all over the globe, and are now easily among the most sought-after West Coast wines, period. We were very fortunate to secure a small stash, but we do mean small—less than 100 bottles! Do not delay, you don’t want to miss out on this revelatory experience.

Chris Hermann grew up in the Willamette Valley and has always had a love for the lush, pastoral landscape and felt a close connection to the native flora and fauna. It didn’t hurt that his father, who emigrated from Europe in the early 1950s, was a professor of botany and forestry. He was also a lover of fine wines, and as such Chris developed a taste for white Burgundy at a pretty young age; by the 1990s, he was enjoying and collecting wines from the top estates. He also had the great fortune to enjoy some of David Lett’s legendary 1960s Chardonnays, the first ever in Oregon, and this convinced him that his lifelong home had all the raw material necessary to make the kind of wines he loved most. So, in 2015, Chris and his wife Kathryn founded 00 Wines and set out to do just that.

They started by sourcing fruit from some of the best vineyards in Willamette, including Seven Springs, Eola Springs, and Chehalem Mountain, focusing on plots with heirloom clones and organic or sustainable farming. But of course they had to make the wine, too. In order to turn this pristine fruit into the golden elixir they loved, they turned to the legendary Burgundy winemaker and consultant Pierre Millemann, and he was more than happy to share the magic that occurs in the cellars of Coche, Roulot, and Lafon. It’s black magic, or more accurately “black Chardonnay,” which is essentially a process that allows the juice or must to oxidize purposefully prior to fermentation. The process briefly turns the juice a dark brown or almost black, hence the name, before the phenols settle to the bottom and the brilliant straw-gold color returns. This process essentially baptizes the wine in oxygen and helps it to age extremely slowly, developing layers and layers of complexity over the years.

“VGW” stands for “very good white” and it is sourced from four of the Hermanns’ favorite parcels. The 2021 is still a baby, especially by the standard that 00 Wines has set for itself, but after a good hour in the decanter, the aromatics begin to awaken, shedding the flinty reduction and unfurling layers of yellow apple, quince, lemon curd, citrus blossom, sandalwood, white pepper, and loads of crushed rock. Serve in a large Burgundy bowl at a cool, not cold, 50-55 degrees and enjoy the chiseled, medium weight body with a perfect balance of sensuous fruit, saline minerality, and bright, sun-kissed acidity. It truly is pure, Chardonnay bliss in a bottle. Did we mention it is also super limited? Don’t hesitate to pounce—you’ll be very glad you did!

00 Wines, Willamette Valley Chardonnay "VGW"

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