Our Wines

2007 Blanc de blanc, Reservé Zenith Vineyard Sparkling Wine, Methode Traditionelle


Oregon's cool climate is perfectly suited to grow the grapes used to produce sparkling wine. Our estate, Zenith Vineyard, produced the 108 clone of Chardonnay for this wine, which ripens slowly without losing acidity. The base wine was barrel fermented and aged for two years in neutral oak. Put "on tirage" in this bottle, it spent over seven years on its lees before being hand riddled and disgorged. This methode champenoise technique was developed by French monks and refined by the great Champagne houses in that country.

The inspiration for this wine came to me in 1998 in the village of Avize in Champagne on a rainy evening in April. For three hours I was immersed in the ideas and work of a gifted winemaker. That experience compelled me to create a sparkling wine unlike any I had made before. The result is this wine of singular intention and focus. Oeuf en Meurette, charcuterie, and wild birds will balance the focused intensity of this sparkling wine. It may be enjoyed over the next couple of years. Enjoy!

Vineyard Details

The Chardonnay used in the Blanc de blanc Reservé was the last crop of Chardonnay from the original plantings at Zenith Vineyard. Because the vines are now dead, this style of long aged, 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine was not be created again. Four barrels of base wine yielded only 92 cases of finished sparkling wine.

Vintage Description

2007 was one of the more challenging harvests in the past decade. The season began early with sunny and dry weather in May and June. Bloom was about a week earlier than normal indicating that we would expect to begin picking in late September. The crop level was thinned significantly in late July targeting yields of between 2.1 and 2.7 tons per acre for Pinot noir.

September was cooler than normal and the cool weather continued into October. Intermittent rains slowed maturity and increased the risk of rot. Sunny periods between the rain events allowed the critical process of ripening and flavor development to continue. The tension mounted as waited and prayed for sun watching the acids soften, the tannin sweeten, and the flavors gain complexity. The first grapes were finally picked on October 4th, ten days later than expected. By October 15th, all of the fruit was picked, making 2007 our shortest harvest. The extended hang time produced exceptional white wines and complex, layered Pinot noirs. It was a perfect vintage for sparkling wine.

Tasting Notes

The 2007 Blanc de blanc is a pale straw color with a fine, delicate mousse. Yellow floral, hazelnut butter, lemon curd and crème fraiche  aromas are rich and linger. The palate reveals rich peach jam, ripe citrus, and toasted brioche flavors with broad dispersion over your tongue and mid-palate. Given the more savory and textural profile and the soft richness of the mousse, our Blanc de Blanc will match well with rich brunch dishes like sautéed potatos, omelets, and cured meats. At nine years of age, it is ready to drink over the next year or two.