2005 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Last weekend, I decided to have a New World Chardonnay night. This says 2 things about me:

  1. I haven’t had a much New World Chardonnay lately
  2. I’m a wine geek, jeez…

There were 2 wines chosen and this was the first up. What can I say, but, “Wow”? This was exactly what I wanted. Along with Grgich Hills, Chateau Montelena is a Napa winery that makes wine bridging the gap from Old World to New World. There is some of that sexy tropical fruit, but it also has that crisp citrus acidity that makes it a great wine to pair with food.

The winery was founded back in 1882, making it one of the oldest wineries in the Napa Valley. It was on July 7th, 1976 that they really made their name. They were one of the wineries to take part in the famed Paris tasting (which is being made into a movie, BTW) where their ’73 Chardonnay beat all comers, including many famed White Burgundies. Their winemaker at the time was Mike Grgich so the fact that both wineries still have similar styles is no fluke.

I’ve been there a few times and it’s always a good visit. They’re located near the town of Calistoga, in the Napa Valley and really make some smokin’ wines. The current winemaker, Bo Barrett seems to know what he’s doing.

OK, back to the wine. The nose is an amazing mix of pineapple and honeydew melon, with a flinty citrus edge. The flavours are a perfectly balanced bunch of round melon, apple and citrus… with that lemon on stone finish that goes on for minutes.

It may have been the night, or food that I had eaten, but I enjoyed this wine as much as any white I’ve had in years. It was fantastic.

~$60 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 1/2 stars

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