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Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Five FACES is an acronym for the Fullerton family – Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric, and Susanne. The wines blend fruit from multiple vineyards in Willamette Valley, mainly in the north of the valley with one to the west in the Van Duzer Corridor. A full representation of the Willamee Valley’s soil types is on display with one volcanic vineyard, two loess (windblown) vineyards, and two sedimentary vineyards. The vineyards range in elevation from 550-700 feet.
Honeydew melon, japanese pear, apricot, honeysuckle, apple-blossom, nutmeg, brioche, and lemon curd. Melon is echoed on the palate with notes of lemon, tangerine, toasted almonds, and fennel. Lovely and integrated acidity balances the palate weight from 17 months on the lees.
17 months in 10% new French Oak
Paris with creamy dishes and cheeses. Chicken and Turkey.
Great wine speaks profoundly, a universal language transcending any one culture. Hailing from northern Europe, the Fullerton family speaks many languages, and delights in sharing the language of wine with others. Fullerton Wines crafts elegant and distinctive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that transport you to their place, Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
A family of enophiles, the Fullertons can trace their love of wine to Eric, who was first introduced to wine growing and production during his teenage years when he worked as a cellar hand in Germany (a story in and of itself). A few years later, his best friend in Denmark inherited an impressive cellar of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Together, they sought younger bottlings of the cellared wines, and held vertical tastings. Their interest in wine grew, and they began traveling throughout France discovering new producers to fuel their expanding passion.
When Eric and Susanne met in Stockholm, it did not take long for Susanne to fall in love with Eric and the wines he respected. Marriage soon followed, and they continued tasting, savoring, and cellaring wine.
In 2010, Alex Fullerton graduated from the University of Oregon with an Economics degree. Alex and Eric were tasting wine at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, and began discussing home-brewing and the process of fermentation. The conversation led to the idea of Alex making wine. A couple of minutes later, Lynn Penner-Ash entered the room, and Eric asked her how Alex could enter the industry. Coincidentally, a harvest intern had dropped out that morning, and she needed a replacement. The next day Alex was offered a job as an intern, and later became a cellar hand at Penner-Ash. His passion ignited.
Alex next took off to New Zealand to work at Drylands Winery in Marlborough. Although the experience didn’t align with the handcrafted winemaking tradition in Oregon, he came back determined to learn more about growing and production. Penner-Ash welcomed him back again for the 2011 harvest, and he worked the following 2012 harvest at Bergström Wines under winemaker Josh Bergström. Lynn Penner-Ash and Josh Bergström both mentored and inspired Alex, deepening his knowledge of winemaking.
Fullerton Wines began in a garage in 2011. Alex and Eric partnered with their good friend Roger Wallberg and made a few barrels of Pinot Noir. Despite the challenging vintage, the wine impressed and Fullerton Wines was born. Today, Fullerton Wines crafts treasured Willamette Valley wines, focused purely on the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Alex Fullerton worked at Penner-Ash and Bergstrom in Willamette Valley, Oregon and Drylands in Blenheim, NZ majored in Economy @ UO, Studied Organic chemistry @ PSU and Viticulture & Enology @ OSU.
Vineyards: Ivy Slope (Estate) Chard, Croft PN, Fir Crest PN, Arbor Brook PN, Lichtenwalter PN, Bjornson PN, Momtazi PN, Ch Bianca Chard, Bella Vida PN, Apolloni PN, Bennett PN, La Velle PG, May's Vineyard Syrah.
Ivy Slope (Estate) 0.5 Acres All others by Acerage contracts.
Age of the vines: 7 - 50 years.
Everything is at a minimum Sustainable, Momtazi is Biodynamic and Croft is Organically certified.
Our holistic viticulture produces energetic fruit, great wine, and a healthier world.
Great wine requires great fruit. Growing high-quality grapes demands that we care for the soil in which the vines grow. Grapes, more than any other crop, convey the characteristics and health of their site. It is widely known that the best wines come from grapes grown in well-drained soils. Grape growers and winemakers are becoming increasingly aware of the devastating effects of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides on the structure, drainage, infiltration, and overall health of the soil. At Fullerton Wines, our pursuit of great wine guides us to organic and biodynamic farming methods because of its ability to build up healthy soils while also sequestering carbon into the soil (thereby helping to mitigate climate change). Through these methods, we improve the aggregate stability, drainage, water-holding capacity, and infiltration of the soils. We also reduce erosion and nutrient leaching.
Fullerton Five Faces Pinot Noir 100% Pinot Noir - 7-40 years old
FIVE FACES is an acronym for the five members of the Fullerton family - Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric and Susanne.
A blend from Fullerton's best vineyard sources, Five FACES Pinot Noir always showcases the breadth of the terroir in the Willamette Valley with the inclusion of both volcanic, basalt-based soils and sedimentary, sandstone-based soils. The fruit hails from geographically diverse sites within the valley, each with their own unique micro-climates.
Lovely ruby with aromas of cherry, strawberry, cinnamon, bramble, and brooding humus. Fresh on the palate with nice persistence leading into the soft, noteworthy tannins. Drink now or hold for up to 5 years.
In order to build a complex and layered Willamette Valley blend, we used open-top, closed-top, and barrel fermentation. For the open-top tanks, we favored punch-downs, whereas the closed-top tanks received pump-overs exclusively. The rotator barrels spun on a schedule yielding a gentle extraction. All methods also received a minimum of two rack-and-returns at precise times during the fermentation process. Nearly all lots were cold-soaked for up to 10 days, and ambient yeasts carried out the fermentation. In total, we utilized 15% whole clusters. The wine was aged for 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 'Five Faces' Pinot Noir shows deep profile with aromatics leading to wild mushroom, black cherry and wild blackberry. The palate displays a medium weight with flavors of orange zest, black truffle, wild blackberry cobbler and a hint of cola. This is delicious and shows excellent balance. (Best 2017-2027) - July, 2017 (OB)"
- International Wine Report (July 2017), 91 pts
Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.
Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years
"The 2017 Chardonnay Lancel Creek is powerful and resonant, yet also retains striking translucence. Lemon confit, honeysuckle, wild flowers and lightly honeyed notes all grace this exquisite Chardonnay. Even with all of its obvious texture, the Lancel Creek is translucent and light on its feet. The 2017 is rich but not overdone in any way. What a beautiful wine it is. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (January 2020), 94 pts
Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir - 7-40 years old
This Willamette Valley blend hails mainly from three different vineyards in the north, east, and south of the Willamette Valley, with a smaering from five of Fullerton's other sites. The soils of the vineyards represent the breadth and diversity of the Willamee Valley with both sedimentary- and volcanic-based soils.
Blueberry and ripe strawberry with a dash of baker’s spice, bramble, and herbs. The palate carries the fruit forward elegantly with balanced tannins following. Intriguing complexity and depth—an impressive wine for all.
This wine comes from 100% destemmed rotator barrels fermented at ambient temperature reaching a peak temperature of 73° F. The rotator barrel spun twice daily during fermentation yielding a gentle extraction. After fermentation, the wine went through a three-week extended maceration, allowing the tannins to polymerize, soffening the wine. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and three months in tank, the wine was then bottled after filtration.
This wine is handled very gently in the cellar allowing the nuances of the delicate fruit to be preserved and the wine to be very approachable in its youth. We have a preference for pump-overs versus punch-downs for its smoother extraction and softening effect on the tannin. To retain freshness and verve we age most of the wine in tank. However, we softened up and rounded out about 25% of the blend in barrel. The result is a fresh, fruit forward, yet earthy and intriguing, Pinot Noir.
"A fresh array of bright, ripe strawberries and fresh wild herbs here with attractive, spicy oak. The palate is neatly framed in fine, easy and fresh tannins. Drink now."
- James Suckling (July 2019), 91 pts
Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir - 40 years old
11 months in 25% new Oak and 75% neutral
Bella Vida Vineyard is perched high in the heart of the Dundee Hills. This picturesque site provides elegant fruit from the storied Jory soils of the AVA. LIVE certified.
Aromas of cherry and raspberry flow into finely-tuned layers of cedar, cocoa, licorice, and baking spices. The palate pulses with energy as the silky tannins and gorgeous mid-palate captivate your senses. A radiant and profound experience.
A co-fermentation of Dijon clones 113, 667, and 777, this wine expresses the volcanic soils of the Dundee Hills elegantly, yet powerfully. Upon arrival, the grapes were immediately de-stemmed into an open-top two-ton fermenter. Following a seven day cold soak, the wine started fermenting slowly at a cool temperature. To manage extraction, we utilized one to two punch-downs and one pump-over per day, with two rack-and-returns at the beginning and middle of fermentation. As fermentation neared the end, the must was heated to achieve a peak temperature of 94° F resulting in optimum extraction, and then we immediately chilled the wine to extend the time on the skins, while switching to one pump-over per day to limit harsh, seed-tannin extraction. After a total of 19 days on the skins, we drained and pressed the wine, keeping the free-run and press fractions separate. This bottling contains only the free run fraction. Following two days of settling, the wine was racked to barrel and aged for 11 months in 25% new French oak and one month in tank prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Sourced from the western part of Elgin, known as the Lake District, this clone produces wines that are nervous, aromatic, elegant and sharp with slightly lower alcohol and finely balanced, the fruit profile being subtle with hints of citrus/orange peel and peach blossom and with time, some nutty elements. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed granite, pebbles and quartz, adds delicacy and heightens the fruit intensity.
The inspiration for my Deconstructed Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific ‘terroirs’ (meso-climates) that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make these 3 Chardonnay wines, each selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.
Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an
early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in
mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavors.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.
"A single clone (96) grown on a single parcel from a single vineyard of Cartref soils (decomposed granite and quartz). Roasted grain, wet stones, and lemon peel aromas. Precise and tightly coiled with an intense mineral character and yellow fruit and citrus zest flavors finishing with a smoky gunflint note. Matured in 50% new oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.
In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.
Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was
obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Importers Reserve 2012 is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The color is a deep red. The nose is lifted with delightful floral notes of wild roses. In addition the nose also shows characters of currants, green beans and roasted capsicum. the palate has intense blackcurrant fruit complimented by coffee, nutmeg and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied with sweet berry fruits right through to the finish. The seamless tannins are soft and silky, adding further complexity to this well balanced wine.
Drink this one over the next 5 to 7 years.
Mortet Bourgogne Rouge Charmes de Daix is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Fresh and fruity wine displaying red and black fruits flavors (cherry). Well balanced, a good structure and a nice finish.
The wine is produced from 6 different parcels (1 hectare total), planted on clayey soils and chalky rocks sub-soils. The age of the vines varies from 10 to 40 years old.
Yield: 50-55 hl/ha.
Manual harvest with a selection of the grapes; sorting table; 100% destemming; maceration for 15 days, cold stabilization for 4-5 days; racking twice a day. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 4 months. M-L. Aging in oak barrels for 11 months.