The 2011 Aurata is the last vintage before Maggie Harrison changed the source of fruit for this wine to the Shea Vineyard, which she felt provided fruit closer to her ideal. That doesn’t seem to have hurt this 2011, which is one of the best Chardonnays from Oregon.
Oregon will increasingly become a top region for Chardonnay. I am far from the first to make this prediction, and wines like this Aurata have, in my view, proved the point. Though 2011 is a cool year, the linearity and salinity in this wine are emblematic of a common quality for Oregon Chard.
Maggie Harrison, formerly of Sine Qua Non, is quite passionate about bringing out the beauty of Chardonnay by taming the fruit. Chardonnay is a “monster” she says, soaking up sun so easily it can quickly turn into tropical muck. The goal is intensity and the promise of power without quite going over the top. Thus, Antica Terra’s Chardonnay is often powerful but deceptively contained. The 2011 is a great example of this seeming contradiction – a tension that in my view is common with all great Chardonnays.
Given that the winery has changed fruit sources, I cannot say that this vintage is or will be representative of Antica Terra’s future style. However, I can say that this 2011 is an outstanding example of what is possible with Chardonnay in Oregon. I thought it was delicious and promising.
$70 at Marquis Wine