Résonance Wines: Hitting its Stride

Posted on Mar 20, 2024

Willamette Valley eola amity hills ava

Winemaker Guillaume Large.

It was 2019 when we discovered Résonance Wines, the Oregon outpost of Burgundy powerhouse, Maison Louis Jadot. We were preparing to do a series of articles on Willamette Valley wineries that had Burgundian roots. Our research uncovered the relatively little-known winery located in Yamhill-Carlton that has rapidly become one of the most talked about in Oregon.

That conversation has been uniformly filled with praise and the scores of their wines from the major publications have echoed our own: excellence across the board.

Willamette Valley winery

Always a great visit at Résonance Wines.

Since that first meeting, we have made it a point to stop in at Résonance each time we go to the Willamette Valley; either to interview their very talented winemaker, Guillaume Large, or to at least stop by one of their tasting rooms, enjoy a glass, and of course, buy a few bottles.

With this year’s visit we have seen a continuation of the innovations and the acquisitions as well as the development of their wines as the vineyards have moved into a more mature phase. Like their wines, this story just keeps getting better with time.

Barrel tasting with Guillaume is a masterclass.

Guillaume arranged a really interesting tasting for us. We started in the barrel room to taste some of the most recent vintages; vintages that he is justifiably very excited about. Oregon has put together a string of very solid vintages over the past decade, but more about that in a bit.  With the memory of those barrel samples still fresh on our palates, we then returned to the winery’s private tasting room to taste the current release in bottle as well as some back vintages. A perfect way to assess a winery’s progress.

First, a few words about barrel tasting. These are unfinished wines; wines that still have a ways to go to complete their development. That means tasting can be a bit of work as tannins can be high and the integration of flavours and other structural components hasn’t finished. That can lead to a bit of palate fatigue earlier than when tasting finished wines from bottle. However, it gives you a very good sense of the potential quality of the wines and of the vintage, not to mention it’s a lot of fun.

You go from aisle to aisle looking for that one particular barrel, and get a firsthand look at how a winemaker tastes and evaluates his wines, makes decisions around ageing, blending, etc.

The 2022 & 2023 vintages are continuing the string of excellence.

The experience showed us that 2022 and 2023 will continue the string of strong vintages that Oregon has experienced for the past decade.

2013 was the last really cool vintage, a problem in days gone by where there was often a struggle to get fully ripe characteristics. Oregon, a cool and damp climate, has so far been the beneficiary of climate change in that regard.

Back upstairs in the winery’s private lounge we tasted the current releases from Résonance. We also tasted several back vintages and were able to directly contrast the effect of longer bottle age on a wine’s development and then evaluate how the finished wines compared to the barrel tasting. And with an esteemed winemaker like Guillaume taking you through the tasting and sharing his own experiences of the wine, what you have is an absolute Masterclass!

Thievery in the barrel room.

While dipping the wine thief into a barrel to extract some Chardonnay as the barrel tasting began, Guillaume shared his views on the recent string of Oregon vintages: “I’m French so if I think of ‘our style’, 2015 yes [was a strong vintage with] a lot of concentration; 2016 is a bit more new world [in style] but it was a nice vintage for sure. 2017 I loved, and 2018 was an easy, expressive, very Oregon vintage…2019 and 2021 were among our best vintages yet. 2022 we had an inversive frost so Koosah [Vineyard in Carlton] at higher elevation had no frost, produced very delicate fruit, [it was] a good surprise because we didn’t know what we’d get after such a crazy season.” Guillaume later explained that in 2020 Résonance only produced Chardonnay due the wildfires as the Pinot had too much smoke taint.

When Jadot bought what is now the Résonance Estate vineyard they turned their attention to some of the unplanted land with a view to expanding this great terroir.

yamhill carlton willamette valley

Some of the beautiful vineyards at Résonance.

This resulted in Jolis Monts being planted in 2017, adjacent to the Résonance Vineyard in Yamhill Carlton.

As the Résonance Vineyard was planted only to Pinot Noir, a portion of Jolis Monts was planted to Chardonnay to create an estate wine from that variety. Tasting the Chardonnay from Jolis Monts from barrel was a true revelation. The vines are now showing what they are capable of producing: complex Chardonnay with freshness and minerality coupled with very good texture.

Guillaume explaining some of the decisions being made in the winery at any given time.

With new vineyards, different barrel regimes, and the addition of concrete and steel fermenters, the number of winemaking decisions Guillaume has to make have become many and increasingly complex. He has such a good palate that those decisions are second nature for him. We have less familiarity with the Jolis Monts vineyard than the others but our barrel tasting showed that for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this is a site to watch. Definitely some great fruit coming from there.

Willamette Valley wine

Koosah Vineyard

As we tasted through barrel samples from Résonance Vineyard, from Découverte and from the recently acquired Koosah Vineyard, we were easily able to see their reason for being. Each vineyard has its own expression, an identity, and its own sense of place. The Willamette Valley bottling tells the Résonance story with a broader brush while the single vineyard offerings written with a finer pen.

The last barrel we tasted from came from the recently planted and extremely exciting new project, the En Foule Vineyard.

Guillaume at the En Foule vineyard.

Our article here will give you more insight, but suffice it to say, this is a very special place where Pinot Noir is being grown in completely unique way. We wrote in that article that En Foule has all the potential to become a cult wine, a darling of collectors, due to all the special and hand-crafted care that goes into producing the miniscule quantities of wine that will be produced there. The barrel tasting from En Foule’s very first vintage was spectacular and took it one step closer to proving our bold prediction.


We finished off our tasting experience with a special set of library releases. These wines are referred to as the Memory Collection. One barrel of each of block 5, block 4 and block 1 of the Résonance Vineyard are held back to make a wine from the Pommard clone, the Dijon clone and the Wadenswil clone.

The stunning Memory Collection.

This allows interested tasters, journalists, and future winemakers to assess past vintages from specific blocks and individual clones and see how they age and the effect of the season on the resulting wine.

The Memory Collection is sold in 3 bottle sets in very limited quantities. Each bottle has been hand waxed and individually numbered by Guillaume. These are very special wines indeed and provide an excellent reference point for how the Résonance wines have developed. The Memory Collection showed just how well these wines age, how they develop more complexity and how easily they stand the test of time. They were a perfect way to finish off a brilliant tasting!

Tasting Notes

2022 Résonance Willamette Valley Chardonnay

2022 Résonance Willamette Valley Chardonnay

The Willamette Valley bottlings at Résonance are their largest production wines, are their workhorse bottlings and the foundation upon which the winery’s reputation rests. The same meticulous detail that goes into making their single vineyard offerings also goes into the Willamette Valley offerings. No wonder they get such high scores in Wine Spectator and elsewhere! This years Willamette Valley Chardonnay builds on the methods of bygone vintages. It is a blend of their Résonance Vineyard estate fruit and purchased fruit from neighbours who they contracts with. Yellow/gold in colour, this is a textured offering with good body and medium+ acidity. Flavours start with apple and a bit of air brings out hints of peach as well. Hints of minerality linger on the finish and bring precision. Very Good+/Excellent

2022 Résonance Koosah Vineyard Chardonnay

2022 Résonance Winery Koosah Vineyard Chardonnay

The Koosah Vineyard with its high altitude and steep slopes has turned out a brilliant Chardonnay in 2022. Instantly we are stuck by the terrific minerality this wine has. The fruit profile leans towards stone fruits of white peach with a bit of apple nuance. The body is medium+ and is well-balanced by the linearity of the acidity. To get such texture and this level of precision from the same wine is quite a feat. Excellent+

2022 Résonance Découverte Chardonnay

Découverte is Résonance’s Dundee Hills estate. 30% of the blend was raised in concrete egg. We think this is a contributor to the the lovely texture of this wine. Elegance and finesse are the focus here; this is a wine that emphasizes poise now power. In addition to the apple and other orchard fruits there is a nice citrus note that creates added complexity. This wine is precise and balanced with medium body and just the right amount of tension. Excellent (USD$40-particularly good value for this quality level)

2021 Résonance Découverte Pinot Noir

2021 Résonance Découverte Pinot Noir

Cherry and raspberry notes swirl together to create a flavourful interplay both aromatically and on the palate.  The floral notes come up a notch with this wine. Medium body with medium+ tannin this wine is elegant but sure footed. The finish is long and imbued with notes of dried herbs. Excellent

2022 Résonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Medium dark red in colour, this wine shows medium body and moderate tannin. Flavours of cherry and cranberry pick up extra complexity from the floral notes. There is an aroma that is vaguely reminiscent of walking through a forest after a rain. Elegant with lots of personality. In a world of quickly rising prices for Pinot Noir, this shows good restraint. Excellent  (USD$40)

2021 Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir

2021 Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir

Here we can see the intensity is dialed up by the darker red colour of this wine. Flavours of black cherry, blackberry and dried herbs come across with impact but balance too. More hefty than the wines preceding it, but still showing its Oregon roots with its medium+ body and tannin. The acidity drives a sense of precision. With air the sous bois character grabs your attention and beguiles you as it shifts from notes of fermenting leaves to mineral and earth. Already very complex, this will only get more so during the long life in front of it – we think a decade more and this will still be on the upswing. Excellent/Extraordinary  

2017 Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir

2017 Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir

Tasting through these back vintages showed us just how age-worth Résonance Pinot Noir is. 2017 was generally a cool vintage in Oregon. The Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir managed to ripen perfectly and its mixture of Pommard, Wadenswil and Dijon clones blended together to create a delicious wine with medium body, medium+ tannin and flavours of black cherry plum and earth notes. The wine literally glides across your palate with the type of smoothness only bottle age can bring. Long, long finish. Excellent/Extraordinary


2017 Résonance Winery Memory Collection Block 1 Pinot Noir

2017 Résonance Memory Collection Block 1

It was a terrific education after tasting the blend to go through the individual components of the vintage. Starting with the Wadenswil, it showed a slightly lighter red colour. This wine is focused and elegant and really delivered when it came to the aromatics and the floral notes. There was a mineral streak that greatly added interest. The body was medium and the tannin medium+. Finessed and poised. Excellent

2017 Résonance Winery Memory Collection Block 4 Pinot Noir

This particular Dijon clone is the 777. The colour is a medium/dark red. The fruit profile shows maturity and leans towards dark cherry with hints of strawberry. The earth and mineral notes add to the complexity. Texturally it is smooth and long. To us, the most savoury of the 3. Excellent+

2017 Résonance Winery Memory Collection Block 5 Pinot Noir

2017 Résonance Memory Block 5

We finished the tasting with the Pommard clone from block 5, planted in 1981. These would be among the older vines in the state. The earth and forest floor notes really stood out for us. The fruit was ripe and showing some maturity. The body was medium+ and sturdy. Another delicious wine! Excellent+

It is interesting to note that our favourite of the 4 wines from 2017 that we tasted, it was the standard Résonance bottling that was our favourite. This reinforces the decision to blend rather than bottle specific blocks, in our view.


Any opened bottle is worth a taste.

Résonance Wines

12050 NW Meadowlake Rd

Carlton, OR 97111

Tasting Room: Open Daily 11am-5pm


  1. exploringthewineglass@gmail.com'

    blending is always fun (and nerve wracking) LOL

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