Carter-Lamour 2012 Columbia Valley Chardonnay
Fellow wine lovers, sometimes tragedy strikes in the wine community, but wine being what it is, it tends to attract people who have an innate sense of togetherness. Throughout history, there are stories of winemakers and wineries coming together to serve a good cause, and that’s what brings about today’s Carter-Lamour Chardonnay.
Dain Dillingham was the Assistant Winemaker for Aryn Morell (owner of Alleromb Winery, and winemaker for Matthews, Tenor, and a few other wineries), but in 2013 he suffered a paralyzing spinal injury. His brother Drew Dillingham was the winemaker at Waters Winery, and decided to quit his job and assume the role of full time caregiver for Dain. As their the medical expenses clashed with the brothers’ lack of full time income, their friends in the wine community banned together, offering a bit of relief.
Carter-Lamour 2012 Chardonnay $24.99 (Regularly $30)
Aryn Morell donated 5 barrels of his Alleromb Chardonnay from the La Reyna Blanca Vineyard, while Charles Smith Wines/K Vintners donated 5 barrels of their Sixto Moxee Vineyard Chardonnay. The two are combined and bottled as Carter-Lamour, which is a newly established winery, owned by the Dillingham brothers. This Chardonnay could, by all rights, sell for about $50 if you just average out the per bottle price of the two individual wines which make it up. At $24.99, it’s not only a great value, but I found it to be a truly fantastic Chardonnay, easily my favorite of the past several months – as I look back through previous Impulse offers, I see that I haven’t featured a Chardonnay since April, which is to say I haven’t found a Chardonnay I loved since then!
Rather generously oaked, yet in balance, it’s not an oak bomb but has bold notes of creme brulee and baked lemons, vanilla, butterscotch, and pineapple. After some time, it opens up to flavors of toasted almonds, creamed corn, butter, and a bit of red apples. Fresh fruits, rich creamy flavors, and bright acidity coalesce to make a Chardonnay which I find to be extremely enjoyable . A truly outstanding value when you consider the two component Chardonnay which originally were destined to be bottled and sold separately, for nearly double the price of the Carter-Lamour. Also, we are not likely to see too many other white wines available from the near perfect 2012 vintage, as most wineries have already moved on to the 2013’s and even 2014’s, so this is a real find.
Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wines give the Carter-Lamour a rating of “Excellent” while calling it “exhilarating and beautiful”. Also, Sean Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast Magazine gives it a score of 91 points.
Only 250 cases were made
Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard: 50% Roza Hills Vineyard (Sixto), 50% La Reyna Blanca Vineyard (Alleromb)
Aging: 100% French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Beautiful right now, can age for another 2 to 4 years
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Sixto Chardonnay, Alleromb Chardonnay
Press: 91 Points from Sean Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Rating of “Excellent” from Great Northwest Wines
Food Pairings: Roasted Bird, Halibut, Wild Salmon, Scallops
Production: 250 cases