Old Stones - The Making of a Bestseller

Published by Max Margaritoff on 17/03/2017

Josh and Caroline Bergström from Bergström wines are in town for the Washington and Oregon Wine tasting, and this has given us a chance to sample their wines in the office once again. The end result was a confirmation of why ‘Old Stones Chardonnay’ is consistently one of our bestselling wines online.

Story

When you meet Josh and Caroline for the first time you really begin to fully understand their wines. Both make you instantly feel welcome. Perhaps it is the way they talk about their wines and the land the vines grow on. There is true conviction and a sense of pride, accompanied by gratitude and humility in their voice.

The story of Bergström really begins in 1999, when Josh returned home to Oregon from Burgundy, where he had completed his postgraduate in Viticulture and Enology. He didn’t come back from Burgundy alone, but brought with him his fiancée Caroline, who he married that fall in the vineyards of the Bergström winery. The same fall also marked the first vintage of Bergström wines, made with high quality Pinot Noir sourced from a neighbouring vineyard.

Value

Since 2001 all fruit comes from his own vineyards, all of them farmed biodynamically. Needless to say, Bergström is now considered one of the finest producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in all of the United States, effortlessly matching top Burgundies but at a fraction of the price. The Old Stones Chardonnay in particular has outshone Burgundy at double the price.

Style

But it isn’t just the phenomenal value that makes Bergström an online favourite, it's also the style and quality of the wines. Their wines are, essentially, a perfect expression of both Josh and Caroline, with Josh spending ten months a year out on his tractor, managing the vineyards and caring for the vines all day, every day. The result is wine that is terroir-driven, with a strong sense of identity. The Old Stones is fresh, bursting with minerality and bright fruit. But what really makes the Old Stones so interesting is that it manages to combine several elements seamlessly together: it is vibrant, offering the generosity of the New World, and yet it possesses the elegance that you would expect from an Old World wine. When one of the most renowned wine critics in the world, Jancis Robinson, calls it “an old favourite” and describes it as “much funkier and more interesting than the average American Chardonnay, but much fruitier than many a white Burgundy”, then you know that you are doing something right! It is this balance between the ‘known’ Old World style with the intriguing New World twist that really gives the Old Stones the edge over other, often pricier Chardonnay from Burgundy and around the world, and in turn makes it one of our best-selling wines online ever!

Food matching

Finally, the Old Stones Chardonnay is extremely versatile. People have come and bought a case of the Old Stones for their traditional Sunday roast, whereas many others have a bottle at home that they will hold on to, and only open for a special occasion such as Christmas Eve or for a birthday. The wines, whether with pan-fried salmon, a Sunday roast or lobster and crab ravioli, are extremely food friendly.

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Max Margaritoff

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Jancis Robinson MW