Chateau Montelena

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2018

Napa Valley, California

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Chateau Montelena’s Napa Chardonnay showed that the new world could create classically balanced and complex wines in its own voice, and that from the right sites and with perseverance, the results could equal anything made the world over. Through fads and trends, Montelena has never changed in its philosophy of bringing the sunshine of California in a style that is structured, balanced and age worthy.

In 1976, in what is now memorialized as “The Judgment of Paris”, Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay was the top-ranking wine against four white Burgundies and five other California Chardonnays in a blind tasting with a who’s-who of the french food and wine industry judging. And as they say, the rest is history.

Vineyard

The Chardonnay for the 2018 vintage is sourced from vineyards located in the south-central Napa Valley appellation, near the base of Mt. Veeder and Dry Creek Valley Road on the western bench of the Napa Valley. It has a good north-eastern exposure with a slope of 4-7%. The Haire-Loam soil has a profile very similar to that of the Carneros region, although the climate is slightly warmer. The vineyard site, developed from old ocean terraces and alluvial fans, contains a lot of sedimentary material such as decomposed shale and blue/gray clay. This soil mixture gives moderate drainage and slight acidity. Typically, the Chardonnay has a concentrated floral, green apple aroma and a refreshing and persistent impression on the palate.

Winemaking

The Napa Valley Chardonnay is made of 100% Chardonnay grapes and was aged in 100% French oak barrels for 10 months. Emblematic to the style of the estate, it offers concentrated floral, green apple aromas and a refreshing and persistent impression on the palate.

Vintage

On the heels of a relatively dry winter, March and April brought ample rain and cool temperatures, delaying budbreak in the vineyard. June ushered in a very typical, warm, Napa Valley summer punctuated by cool nights especially into August. As a result, ripening was slow yet consistent, requiring patience and precise attention to flavor development and texture in the fruit. The vineyards were harvested over the course of an entire month, a luxury we took full advantage of.

Tasting Note

Golden straw-colored in the glass, the wine opens with cinnamon and ripe peach, bolstered by aromas of melon, fig, and pear. More fruity than floral upon release, there’s nonetheless plenty of honeysuckle and spice, softening to green apple and vanilla.

The palate, initially fused with lemon curd and ripe orange, presents dynamic tension transitioning to the midpalate between the suppleness of summer stonefruit and the austere acid beneath. The citrus lingers as well, amidst a billowy texture that bolsters the bare minerality, contrasted only by the whisper-soft hint of fresh baked bread.

On the finish, the wine is bright and fresh, ripe apricot along with orange marmalade lend a slight sweetness peppered by toasted almond and clove.

Food Pairing

This is a totally food friendly wine that can be enjoyed on its own, or as a complement to any number of dishes – especially fresh seafood, shellfish or poultry. The creaminess of a crab salad or lobster roll will cut through the acidity and citrus notes of the wine beautifully.

Color

White

Grape Varieties

Chardonnay

Appellation

Napa Valley, California

Alcohol

13.9%

Suggested Retail Price

$60

Reviews

"An especially fine vintage"

Vinous Media -

“Chateau Montelena's 2018 Chardonnay is bright and finely sculpted, with terrific energy driving the citrus and floral flavors. Blocking malolactic fermentation keeps the flavors brisk. This cool site in Oak Knoll suits the Montelena style very nicely. Readers who enjoy focused Chardonnay. This is an especially fine vintage for the Montelena Chardonnay." 

 

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Trade Materials

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