Chateau Chantal 30 Year 2016 Reserve Chardonnay: Three Decades in the Making, and Delicious!

Hello Friends,

I would like to introduce you to one of several delicious gems I had an opportunity to try during a recent virtual chat on Twitter’s #winestudio educational wine program. Leading this segment were the good folks at Michigan Wine Collaborative, a non-profit organization working to put Michigan on the global stage of the wine world. I’ve been fortunate (and curious) enough to try a number of wines from The Great Lakes State, and appreciate some of the regional hallmarks found in their wines. These include fresh fruit flavors, natural acid brightness, restraint, low to moderate levels of alcohol, and food-friendliness—all a result of a cool climate.

“Many viticultural experts around the world believe that a vineyard only starts to produce truly exceptional wines after it has reached 25 or 30 years of age. We believe we are there!” ~ Chateau Chantal 

Chateau Chantal is a 65-acre estate, situated atop a ridge on the Old Mission Peninsula, just north of Traverse City. Their history began in December of 1983, when the Begin family started to turn their dream of building a European-style winery chateau into a reality. Bob Begin, a former Roman Catholic priest of 12 years, planted the estate’s original vineyard in 1986. Today, the estate operates as a French-style bed and breakfast, tasting room and winery, and vineyard. The 2016 Reserve Chardonnay bottling celebrates the 30th anniversary of the estate’s original planting, with 100% of the chardonnay fruit coming from the site planted in 1986. Mr. Begin chose a great site for growing cool-climate varieties. It doesn’t hurt that the site is also postcard pretty—and a wonderful place to stay, play, and enjoy a glass of wine. For further information and where you can find this delicious Chardonnay, see my tasting notes below.

Image by Chateau Chantal—Autumn 2018 

Chateau Chantal 30 Year Vineyard 2016 Reserve Chardonnay (SRP $30): This bottling comes from the original estate vineyard planted in 1986 by proprietor Bob Begin. It pours a medium-golden color. A warmer than normal and relatively long growing season produced a wine with inviting tree and citrus fruit aromas. On the palate, there are focused flavors of lemon zest, spiced apple, and stone fruit, lightly framed by toasted bread notes. This is a really pleasing Chardonnay, with well-integrated oak, slightly creamy texture, and a bright personality that shines from start to finish. It is both a nice solitary sipper and wonderful accompaniment to a wide variety of foods—think poultry, pork, and creamy cheese sauce dishes. Approximately 350 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Old Mission Peninsula, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Other info: ABV 14%, matured 9 months in French and American oak barrels, 100% ML, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

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