The Originals 2015 CHARD Columbia Valley Chardonnay ($19.95, LCBO 514810) is now available in limited quantities at the LCBO Vintages.

Not a buttery oak-rich copycat, this fresh take on Chardonnay lightens up on the barrel and comes through as bright as a spring day: aromas and flavours of honeysuckle and vanilla layered with green apple, jasmine, apricot, and butterscotch finish with beautiful acidity and tropical fruit notes. This wine is medium-bodied and nicely layered with a refreshing finish. It sure doesn’t look like your mother’s Chardonnay (although you should definitely pour her a glass).

This is a great introduction to Washington wine at a very smart price. If it’s still new to you, the trick to understanding Washington is to think beyond Seattle. Sure, the Pacific coast is rainy and cool, but cross the Cascade Mountains and the climate changes. Interior Washington, where most vineyards lie, is hot and dry with cool evenings and downright chilly winters. It’s a place with a diverse patchwork of microclimates and elevations.

This Chardonnay is sourced from a spot in the cool Royal Slope region called the Frenchman Hills Vineyard, just north of the hotter Wahluke Slope. (It all falls under the wider Columbia Valley appellation, which spreads north from the Columbia River gorge at the Oregon border.) Royal Slope is home to some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed Chardonnay. It’s a special site because of its high elevation and northern aspect; this is a cool pocket where grapes develop beautiful floral notes while maintaining a clean fruit expression.

The Originals is represented in Ontario by Rogers & Company. If you’re new to Rogers & Company: Welcome! Wines are sold in unmixed cases of 12, 6, or 3, depending on the item. Some wines are available by the bottle at the LCBO. Delivery is easy: We can bring the wine to your door, or you can stop by our office to pick up and meet the crew and the company dog. To learn more about our producers, or to place an order:

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