LIMITED OFFER: Championship Bottle Gravity's Pull Chardonnay

Greetings fellow Berserkers!

We’re excited to participate in NewbiePalooza, with a limited offer of our (technically sold out) 2019 Gravity’s Pull Chardonnay!

I’ve been a member of Wine Berserkers since 2009, and I’ve learned a lot from the community here (although I don’t post often, which is something I’m trying to rectify), so the chance to participate in something like this is really special!

We missed this past BerserkerDay (we were sold out and somehow I didn’t think to offer wines that were being bottled the next month) but we’re looking forward to participating going forward!

Who We Are:

We (my wife and I) are a very small (250 case) “winery” (renting space in the corner of Vincent Fritzsche’s facility in Amity), and we’re trying to make some of the best white wines in the Willamette Valley, at prices that those in the wine business can afford to buy. (I’ve been ITB in various forms since I was 22… it’s not the most lucrative work, even if it is a blast.)

We’re loosely inspired by the wines of Friuli (especially the Collio/Colli Orientali), which we think shares a vinous link with our little corner of Oregon. We want to make wines that have bright acidity and mineral-driven personalities—they have to work with food, first and foremost. Our first proper vintage was 2018, and we’ve been slowly growing things since then, though I still haven’t been able to quit the day job.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Unfortunately, we’re sold out of our offer today. We will be participating in BerserkerDay, though (and you can always head to www.championshipbottle.com to sign up for the email list as well). Thank you all for your interest and support!

The Wine:

2019 was a classic year in the Willamette Valley, much cooler than the vintage before it. As you might expect, that’s a brilliant thing for white wines—and the ‘19 Gravity’s Pull is a highlight of what we made.

The cooler weather in ‘19 gave us longer hang time on the vine, so the fruit in the wine feels more knit-together and complex than the previous year’s, even as it retains the bright acidity and verve that defines our wines.This comes from the ungrafted, old (for Oregon) vines at Dion Vineyard—a hidden gem in the Laurelwood sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley, and fewer than 75 cases were produced.

It’s telling that across Europe, producers who are lucky enough to have ungrafted vineyards prize them supremely. From Cappellano’s iconic Pie Franco to Marc Plouzeau’s Ante Phylloxera, there’s something about those vines that gives wines a je ne sais quoi. Every time I taste Gravity’s Pull, I think that must be happening here, as well, and I’m grateful to get to work with the vineyard.

This wine fermented and aged for eleven months in older oak barrels before we transferred it into stainless steel tanks for a final six months to build tension into the wine. Just three barrels-worth were bottled and we elected to delay its release to give it time to open up, though this will definitely reward a half-decade in the cellar, if you have the patience.

(PS: If you were lucky enough to get some of the ‘18 last year, go ahead and open a bottle—it’s bloomed nicely in the last twelve months.)





Thanks again your support and all of the knowledge/community over the years! [cheers.gif]

-Saul

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Poor Saul that he got paired with the Board’s yak palate. I’m not sure Todd did that for shits and giggles, or whether he quietly does admire my clunky palate, good looks and ramblings. Needless to say, while I do not post often on new world wines, or even white for that matter, they do have a place at my table, especially with all the wonderful Florida seafood my wife and I enjoy. Knowing Fu loved this Chard, it was pretty likely that I would as well.

And the wine fired quite nicely.

Enjoyed this wine over two evenings to get a better sense of what it’s about. First night had a glass with my wife and sister over some cheeses and crackers. Tonight enjoying it with pan seared crab cakes. Worked really well in both settings.

A very powerful, aromatic nose on pop and pour. Flinty, stony, crushed rocks, dry river bed and a steely sense, followed by cold citrus notes and white florals. Would have never guessed this wine was new world, my sister - an old world palate - immediately guessed Loire. Palate was quite tight, but very precise with firm cut and crisp green apple acid, citrus with white and yellow fruits. The wine was more open on the second night but just a touch diffuse on the mid-palate. While the perception of fruits is more delineated this night, I think I prefer the more powerful drive on opening. Finishes with lively, tangy fruits and chalk.

Some basic housekeeping. ABV is 12.6%. Exactly where it should be. So in balance. Apparently saw 11 months in used oak - I do not know what type or how old - but I really did not pick up any palpable oak spice. I assumed steel. It’s finished in steel for 6 months before bottling.

Coincidental that Saul references Plouzeau’s Franc de Pied. I love this wine, and own quite a bit of it. It’s becoming rather unicorn. It’s my second favorite Loire Cab Franc, and the energy of the super old Franc de Pied vines really electrified this wine. I also love other FDP wines like Breton and the former wines from Joguet and Baudry (young vines on sandy soils but they ulitmateky succumbed to the louse). There is something about the freshness of fruit and transparency of the wine that comes from the FDP vines. I did not know this about the Chardonnay until I read Saul’s post. I get it now.

An excellent value, I bought a 6-pack.

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chard.jpg

  • 2019 Championship Bottle Chardonnay Gravity’s Pull Dion Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains (11/16/2021)
    This wine was tasted in Grassl Liberté glass. The pale yellow-green hue in the glass is very inviting. I’m unsure if it’s fined or filtered, but the racking is excellent and appears crystal clear to the eye. Tasted after pop-n-pour on day one and then allowed to sit open uncorked for 24 hours before the second-day tasting.

Day1: Upon pop-n-pour, there is a distinct note of flint, chalk, minerality, and seashells on the nose, with hints of lemon and citrus hiding behind the minerality. On the palate is this wonderful dry chalkiness blended with lemon and grapefruit. Excellent balancing acid without being overpowering. There is so much chalky dryness here that it almost seems like there is some dissolved co2 in the wine. I don’t know if there is, but it reminds me of some other wines I like where the winemaker hits it with a bit of co2 during the bottling process to add this layer of complexity and freshness. Regardless, it’s very intriguing, and it keeps me wanting more. It seems the wine has gone through malo as it shows some richness in the mouthfeel and is medium viscous on the tongue. I detect no new oak, and according to their website, it’s aged in older oak barrels for 11 months and then spends six months in stainless before bottling. The lengthy finish on this wine is what really sets it apart—driven again by this intense minerality and seashells bouncing off the tannins, fruit, and acidity.

Day2: The nose is similar but may be slightly more subdued. The flint, chalk, and sea-shells aspects are less intense, allowing the citrus to peek through a bit more. The palate remains similar. Excellent cut, but this wine is driven by the minerality and this tongue-tingling aspect. The fruit, acid, and apparent tannin all integrate well, but this intense dry chalkiness keeps me intrigued. The finish continues to be very long and another defining aspect of this wine. If I tasted blind, I would guess Chablis except for that I’ve never had a Chablis that made my Tongue tingle like this, but the fruit and acid seem in line with an excellent Chablis. It’s well-known to many Berserkers that I buy plenty of Oregon chardonnay from a handful of producers. This wine is unique amongst all of them in a perfect way. AFWE Oregon chardonnay lovers and Chablis lovers should consider checking this out if they are looking for something different. I know I will be buying some more. Excellent juice regardless of price but considering the tariff it offers a very strong QPR.

12.6% ABV, Diam 10 Closure

Posted from CellarTracker

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BTW: I pinged Saul to see if the name was a R.E.M. reference and he responded it was. Feeling Gravitys Pull is the 1st track off of R.E.M.'s 3rd and greatest album (IMO) Fables of the Reconstruction. It brings me back to high school and all the amazing REM Club shows we saw every time I listen to it. The great opening track to an amazing Album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NodXnjUIZ0U

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Thanks for the kind words, y’all! Also, for the winemaking-detail-curious, the wine does go through malo and the newest of the three barrels that this was raised in was seven years old, so not a lot of “oakiness” left in any of them, flavor-wise. They still do a great job of helping the wine evolve and develop the minerality I’m after.

(also, I feel compelled to note that Alfert bought the six bottles he mentioned off of my email list offering last month—no sneaking in on the limited offer in advance!)

Smart to point that out, since he’s not clever enough to realize that by stating what he did, some will complain once this goes live [pwn.gif]

And fortunately I knew he did that, as he completely forgot he was selected as the ‘taster’ for this wine also! [pwn.gif]

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Ya I didn’t know what I was doing.

Got a text from Fu saying, “Alfert get on this list and buy”. True story. I don’t think Todd was sufficiently clearly to me - or I am just horrific at following instructions without a highly trained team or wife behind me - connecting the dots that I had been “selected” to review some new wine offering.

Our last (and possibly most limited) Limited Offer!

I’ve been loving Saul’s wines. They are so much fun to drink. Email sent! Now I’m going to go ahead and read the offer in full

Somebody tell Rodrigo there’s no MVP award this time. :slight_smile:

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[rofl.gif] I’m being much more subdued this time around thankfully. Haven’t even managed to taste through all of the wines from last Berserker Day

Thank you all so much for the support! We’re officially sold out. I really appreciate everyone who emailed and I should be back for Berserkerday.

Best,

Saul

Dang! I step away for an hour and I miss the best offer. I visited with Saul this summer and his wines are great. Plus, he’s a really fun, hospitable, and kind guy. Saul if you find three more bottles under the rug, I’m your guy.

[berserker.gif]

Emailed, but these time stamps make me think I was just a minute or too late! Damn.

Yeah, too late on my end. I would have jumped on this one as well. Congrats!

Great wines! I could not keep my hands off my mixed spring shipment and loved every bottle. Thanks Saul

LOL, I bought a 12 pack on the initial release of this wine and sent Saul an email this morning at 8:00 am CST trying to buy another 12 pack. I didn’t even know that this special was going on and I have not heard back from Saul so I’m guessing I didn’t get my wishlist of 12 more bottles. LOL

Thank you all for the kind words (and Shawn, sorry! I didn’t want to tell you no in case the whole thing today flopped…)

The enthusiasm means a lot and I really hope y’all enjoy the wines today and going forward.

Also, I’m always happy to host at the winery. Even if I’m sold out, we can taste through barrel/tank and talk about wine, which is always fun.

Echoing others (including Alfert - I bought mine at the original offer as well). terrific wines and at this price? Hard to find a match.