Quick Sip: Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2011 Chardonnay

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip comes from Calistoga-based Chateau Montelena. The 2011 vintage marks their 40th year producing Chardonnay. In the summer of 1976, this white noble grape helped put Chateau Montelena, as well as the California wine industry, on the world wine map. At a historic blind tasting event known as The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay took first place against top French equivalents. This historic event is captured in a book written in 2005 by George Taber titled Judgment of Paris. More recently, Bottle Shock (2008), a Hollywood-laced version of the historic tasting hit the big screen and focuses primarily on the winning 1973 bottle of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. The book, along with the movie, have ushered in a whole new generation of wine enthusiasts who have taken interest in Chateau Montelena, their story, and their wines. I recently enjoyed this bottle over conversation with a few friends. See my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle below.

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2011 Chardonnay

Review: Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2011 Chardonnay (SRP $49): Pale straw yellow in color, this wine offers up a pleasant symphony of spiced apple, pear tart, lemon blossom, and citrus peel aromas and flavors. There is a notable richness to the texture that’s lifted by bright, food-partnering acidity, which sails through to the medium-to-long (brown) spice-accented finish. Overall, this wine is well-balanced, shows good depth of fruit and length, and exhibits judicious use of oak. This is a survivor, and a tasty one at that, of the supposed difficult 2011 vintage. (Other info: ABV 13.8%, 10 months in 100% French oak of which 8% was new, cork enclosure.) 91 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Backyard Feathered Friend: Male Northern Cardinal

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