Chateau Montelena, Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, 2009, 13.6% abv, US$50

With the big trip to Napa on the horizon (can you say, ‘holiday’?) and Dad here for dinner, I pulled out the big guns to go with turkey, gravy from Granville Island, garden salad and all the trimmings.

Clear and bright, palest spun gold with legs noted. On the nose, clean, medium plus intense aromas of minerality, lemon and lime, slight butter and wood.

The palate is dry with medium plus acidity and high but well integrated alcohol. Body is mouth-fillingly medium plus and the flavour intensity is medium plus. There is tropical fruit – guava and lychee with key lime and lemon curd along with mandarin orange. Sweet oak tones complement the minerality and there’s a touch of almonds to accompany the medium + finish.

Very good wine that has fabulous structure and balance between the fruit, acidity and oak treatment. A longer finish would make it outstanding.

Enjoy now and often; no need to cellar this. I plan to visit them next week and sample some others from the winery whose 1973 Chardonnay won at the Judgement of Paris.


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I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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