2021 Resonance by Louis Jadot Chardonnay, Willamette Valley


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The French invasion of Oregon, beginning many years ago when the Drouhin family first planted their flag in the Willamette Valley, was based entirely on the notion that, without the ability to expand Burgundy’s borders any further, Oregon would be the perfect place to produce wines- notably Chardonnay and Pinot Noir- with the same sort of finesse and structure as their treasured benchmarks. By and large, they’ve proved themselves correct, and a half dozen or more top properties from France have expanded their operations to include the great Northwest. Maison Louis Jadot’s search for the right property also led them to Yamhill-Carlton and, eventually, to the foundation of Résonance. With a goal of producing wines with the same sort of immediacy and class as their own in Beaune, they’ve planted three estate vineyards and begun producing a series of extraordinary wines that merge their new home with their old about as well as it can be done. Their 2021 Willamette Valley Chardonnay is sourced from three estate sites. Résonance, Découverte and the Home Ranch Vineyard as well as from several other top vineyards around the Valley. This, the follow up to the extraordinary 2020 vintage that was in the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the Year list last year, is a wine that showcases the vibrancy and persistence of Oregon’s best Chardonnays with the Willamette Valley’s signature terroir. We were blown away by the wine’s beautiful lemon-curd- Bosc pear-like fruit as well as its lovely minerality and fine structure. Maybe a little richer than the 2020, it’s more a dead ringer for one of Jadot’s wines from the Cotes de Beaune. My wife, usually a hard judge of Chardonnay, asked me to buy a case for the house. Who am I to argue? This is, indeed, a very delicious Chardonnay! The 2022 Pinot Noir – though still youthful and primary- also shows a healthy amount of Jadot’s Burgundy DNA in its nicely articulated savory, cinnamon-like complex within a lovely, concentrated core of wild berry, black tea and cola essence. Richly textured and beautifully balanced, we loved that mineral finish. In a blind tasting, I might easily mistake it for one of Jadot’s Santenay Premier Crus. You can drink it now for all of its hedonistic fruit, but I am guessing this would be a great candidate to improve further for another five or six years. Burgundy is truly proving its mettle in Oregon! 

Wine Advocate on the Chardonnay: …The 2021 Chardonnay Willamette Valley is the first iteration of this wine from Résonance, made from both estate and purchased fruit. The nose opens with streaks of matchstick and crushed almonds that give way to a deep core of yellow apple, jasmine and touches of cream and butter. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and expansive with savory layers energized by focused acidity, and it has a long, textural finish with alluring floral perfume. 94-96 points

Wine Spectator: Fragrant and supple, with elegantly layered pear and passion fruit flavors that are highlighted by notes of lemon verbena and a hint of honey. Drink now through 2024. 93 points