What the what?
Okay, so now I’m just straight up showing off a little. I’m showing off that I have access to this 80 case produced Swiss varietal grown in Willamette’s Dundee Hills. The wind is currently howling around me as I sit in the middle of the Dundee Hills (well, I’m inside, but y’know). So what better time than now to drink a light, fresh and clean white wine?
Just so you’re forewarned, this wine is only available at the winery. 80 cases were made, and as of yesterday they had about 8 left, according to the tasting room staff. Given this fact, and the fact that I’m a sucker for a white wine I’ve never heard of, how could I not buy it? However, other wines from The Eyrie *are* available in SC. They don’t have a huge presence there, but they are available. And lemmee tell ya- their 2012 Willamette Pinot Noir deserves your attention. It has all the charm of the 2012 vintage, but is a tad more refined and shy than some of it’s “slutty” 2012 siblings.
Yeah, I said it.
Anyhow. This wine is just all kinds of fun. It is the perfect trifecta of the weird white; unrecognizable (to most people), difficult to pronounce (until someone tells you), and small-production. Booyah! So, I made myself a couple handy phonetic guides on the tasting sheet. Only problem was, once I got home, I couldn’t decipher them. So, after a quick consult with a fellow wine peep- its Chass-luh Door-ray. Like a Morey eel.
So, little Chasselas is a varietal widely planted in Switzerland. The Swiss enjoy it with fondue, I’ve been told. I’ve never been a big fondue fan, but I can see this wine being a nice complement to a rich cheese. There is a vague suggestion of something nutty here, but mostly this wine just graces your palate with its presence… as they write in their tasting notes, its “ethereal.” Light citrus, fresh soap, soft minerality. Leaves your mouth feeling uplifted. This wine is sort of like a fairy. Like Thumbelina. Remember Thumbelina?! I didn’t until just now. This is why I love writing!
If tasted blind, I can see someone thinking this was a mild, unoaked Washington State Chardonnay, or maybe an Alsatian white. But there’s something extra-special about this one. You can tell it was treated carefully. Which is something that I think really stands out about The Eyrie wines in general. They’re a gift for the senses.
This wine really screams Summer in South Carolina to me. I know James and I and Bryan would’ve crushed this wine if given the opportunity. But, you can’t have them all. Having it now is enough for me.
Just for a laugh, check out all the names that Chasselas Doré also goes by, according to Wikipedia:
One thing I did notice? Chasselas Noir is another word for Dolcetto. Remember how I just wrote about a a Dolcetto the other day? Maybe my brain was on some kinda wavelength that I didn’t even know about!
I purchased this wine at The Eyrie Vineyards tasting room in McMinnville for $27.