One of the great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir addresses of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in Oregon, Shea Vineyards, was started by Dick and Deirdre Shea initially to sell off the harvest to some of the top wineries in the area. However, after ten years of farming for others, this husband and wife duo decided to use a portion of their harvest to create their own expression of the Shea Vineyard terroir.
The Shea vineyard itself has been sustainably farmed for ten years sitting on sedimentary soil over fractured sandstone in one of the most sought-after locations in the area with an excellent cool climate influence that makes for classic wines. Extensive work is done to ensure the healthiest and most quality grapes are produced here, showing why their fruit is so highly regarded.
Shea focuses on making small quantities of wine that hone in on quality. Over the years, the Chardonnay has been a consistently brilliant buy that rubs shoulders with some of the best domestic examples. 2018 is one of the best vintages that Shea has produced and is the first vintage that they have used Concrete for fermentation which lessens the already low oak and adds a rounder, riper element to this classic cool-climate Chardonnay which was a huge success. It is a bright and energetic wine that drinks way above its price point, perfect with food or by itself, and shows just how good the Chardonnay from Oregon can be.
This is an incredible value made even sweeter without three bottle discount, and for those looking for a great Chardonnay buy that exceeds its price point, Shea is the one. Two nice notes below, 2018 is a must-try vintage for Shea and one of the best deals for Domestic Chardonnay.
Wine Enthusiast 95 pts, Editors Choice! "Shea scores again with a luscious, toasty, palate-coating wine that way over-delivers for the price. Estate grown at one of the top vineyards in Oregon, this lovely wine melds caramel, apple, melon and light tropical fruit in a delicious and full-bodied wine whose components are perfectly matched. Mostly barrel fermented but blended with a percentage done in concrete egg, it's graceful, sappy and long. *Editors' Choice"
James Suckling 93 pts! "A complex, fresh style with lemons and white peaches, as well as nectarines and pastry. The palate has a vibrant, enlivened feel with impressive focus and acidity cut through attractive, ripe orchard fruit."