2011 Chateau Montelena - Chardonnay Napa Valley 750ml

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2011 Chateau Montelena - Chardonnay Napa Valley Front View

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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 90(+?)

(13.8% alcohol; the 40th chardonnay vintage at this historic Calistoga winery): Bright, pale lemon-yellow. Crisp aromas of apple, citrus peel and white peppery, along with a light metallic quality. The palate offers bracing lemon zest and grapefruit pith flavors and strong acidity yet comes across as silky and tactile at the same time. Cool and spicy, but with a surprisingly glyceral quality for the year. The youthfully edgy finish suggests that this wine will need serious patience.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 168

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

Average rating: 90, based on 1 reviews

Collector Data For This Wine

104 bottles owned by 26 collectors.

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About This Producer


"This soars out of the ordinary." -TIME, June 7, 1976 (Judgement of Paris, tasting quote)

This quote embodies the dedication to quality and the consistently elegant, classical style Chateau Montelena has embraced since the early days. The current offerings continue to display adherence to that handcrafted heritage. One of the original "blue-chip" estates of Napa, its illustrious history began in 1882 when Alfred L. Tubbs struck a deal to purchase 254 acres of land at the base of Mount St. Helena, two miles north of Calistoga. "Montelena" is a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena.

The present renaissance of this legendary estate began in 1972 under the leadership of James Barrett. It was thrust into the limelight after the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 when its 1973 Chardonnay walked away from stunned French judges with 1st place in the Chardonnay category. The continuing top-ranking results are testimony to the efforts of James' son Beau, who has maintained the quality performance level since 1982.
Click here to listen to GrapeRadio's podcast about Ch. Montelena (Show #103, 46:36 min 21 MB)
GrapeRadio.com

See other similar producers: Krupp Brothers Estates, Silver Oak Cellars, Duckhorn Wine Company

Wine Varietal: Chardonnay


Arguably the best dry white wine grape out there, Chardonnay is grown all over the globe. In addition to being the backbone of fine white Burgundies, Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties used in producing Champagne. Susceptible to a myriad of complications, Chardonnay berries are relatively small, thin-skinned, fragile, and oxidize easily. Chardonnay grapes can be sensitive to winemaking techniques and more difficult to handle from harvest to bottling than many other varieties. Some producers will use malolactic fermentation (where harsher malic acid is turned into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide) to reduce crispness and acidity and add a creamy, buttery texture to wines. The "oaky" character of some Chardonnays comes from fermenting or aging which takes place in oak barrels. Once barrel-aged, Chardonnay may take on notes of vanilla or toast. While Chardonnay is produced worldwide, the best can be found in France, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. Typical descriptors for Chardonnay include mineral, green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, vanilla, butter and smokiness.

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