00 Wines

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Since 2015, Chris and Kathryn Hermann’s 00 Wines (pronounced “double zero”) has been crafting some of the most extraordinary Chardonnay in the New World. Sourced from prime vineyards like Seven Springs, Eola Springs, and Chehalem Mountain, their wines possess a textural depth and complexity that’s only matched by great white Burgundy. Apart from the obviously stellar terroir, a key facet of 00’s sublime whites is “Black Chardonnay,” a method introduced to the Hermanns by their winemaker, Pierre Millemann, who had in turn learned it during his years making wine in Burgundy. Chris Hermann explains: “We pick when the fruit is ripe, but still early, at 21-22 Brix. We foot-crush in a bin, chill overnight and macerate. If you want flavor and texture, you have to extract the phenolics from the Chardonnay skins. The organic material in the skin of the Chardonnay is very similar to Pinot Noir. But people have been doing the opposite, trying not to extract. That method gives very pure fruit, and that’s, to me, monotonous, not complex. People are avoiding extracting the material that would give them flavor, texture, etc., all the things I love about white Burgundy. The Chardonnay goes into the press pan, and within seconds, it turns dark brown or black. It’s an immediate chemical reaction because the molecules that you extract from the skin are what oxidize. People don’t want any oxygen because they don’t think they want those flavors and they think it will protect the fruit. But the fruit is so clean. It’s not like fruit in Burgundy. There’s no reason to add sulfites in order to protect it. The must turns black, and then it’s put into a tank to clarify. The next day we turn on the rotors and spin it all. It’s as if the juice is just out of the press. After a couple of days in tank, the must clarifies. And then it goes straight into barrel. There are massive lees deposits because we only take off the very gross lees, keeping about 80%, so we have this organic material for the wine to feed on for the next several months while it ages in barrel.”

For more information, please visit 00 Wines