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Wine Review: Chateau Montelena 2012 Chardonnay, California


Napa Chardonnay from a famous California winery.

This is the first Napa Chardonnay I have reviewed. California Chardonnay is for ABC drinkers too.

"The light danced as I sipped..."

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Winemaker Matthew Crafton of Chateau Montelena. We put together a #winemuse podcast show focusing on Chardonnay. Matthew was kind enough to take time to speak with us about Chardonnay and his winemaking philosophy. Here's a link to the full podcast show as we explore the trajectory of Chardonnay.

What is wine? I've addressed that question briefly on my Profile Page. When you have an opportunity to speak with talented winemakers, that question or at least that answer, inevitably comes up. Wine can be a simple, every day type of beverage if you don't dig a little deeper. Wine can also be a significant aspect of a culture, a culture which values the benefits and pleasures of wine.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Straw.
Nose: Delicate, toast, river rock, pineapple, pear, melon with dancing light.
Palate: Fresh, delicate, balanced acid on the friendly finish. Crisp.
At 10 mins, vanilla, nutmeg spice and pistachio added to nose. Mouth added hint of creaminess, lemon, lime zest, dry gums and tongue. The light danced as I sipped, with the promise of greater pleasure.
At 20 mins, quite zesty. Exercising restraint, I saved the rest of the bottle for another day.

Day two: Color was richer and shinier. Added depth to the nose. Luscious palate of kiwi, lemon peel, ginger, grapefruit, toast, firm, satisfying acid tingle under the tongue and on the lower gums, melon and pear into the bright finish.

Sunset with Chateau Montelena 2012 Chardonnay.

Thoughts: Lovely crisp wine on day one. An even more enjoyable wine on day two with added dimension to nose and palate. This is a wine to drink now or cellar for a few more years and savor when you open. A versatile wine, suitable for seafood and seared meats. Strongly Recommended.

Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.6%
SRP: $50
Sample provided by the winery

Chateau Montelena won the the white wine competition at the famous "Judgement of Paris;" their winemaker Matt Craft shared the philosophy behind their great Chardonnay on a special episode of  our #WineMus podcast - The Rise, FALL, and Rise of Chardonnay In the Words of the Winemakers.


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