2021 CH. MONTELENA Chardonnay Napa Valley

CH. MONTELENA Chardonnay Napa Valley

¥16,500 (incl. tax)

Chateau Montelena’s top-notch Chardonnay remains as delicate and distinctive as it was when it won the infamous Paris tasting. The exceptional character of this wine starts in the small vineyard in the Oak Knoll District but then emerges in the winery. Unlike many California Chardonnay producers, Chateau Montelena uses little new French oak and no malolactic fermentation. Natural yeast fermentation and aging on the lees result in a wine that is zesty and energetic, mouth-filling and structured with minerality and fresh acidity. 2021 saw a return to “normal” winemaking after the traumatic wildfires of 2020. A continuing drought reduced yields, but the quality of the fruit was exceptional, producing wine with aromatics of green apple, peach, and floral notes and flavors of melon, lemon curd, and crème brûlée. This is a food-friendly wine that will pair with a variety of dishes, especially fresh seafood, shellfish or poultry. The creaminess of a crab salad or lobster roll will cut through the acidity and citrus notes of the wine beautifully. 


Winery Description

Founded in the 1880s, Chateau Montelena was named for Mt. Saint Helena, the imposing peak that looks over the upper Napa Valley where the winery is located. For decades one of the valley’s top quality wine producers, the estate struggled in the years after prohibition and even ceased making wine from its grapes. That all changed in the late 1960s, when a group of partners led by Jim Barret revived the estate, restoring the iconic chateau-like winery building, the Chinese-themed gardens, and, most of all, the vineyards. In no time, Chateau Montelena was making wine that, along with other pioneers of that era, vaulted the Napa Valley into the major leagues of premium wine production. Indeed, by 1976 Chateau Montelena not only emerged as one of Napa Valley’s premier wineries, but awakened the entire world to the quality of California wine, when its 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay won first place in the infamous Paris Tasting, in which some of France’s greatest wine critics rated the Chateau Montelena above some of the most illustrious of white burgundies.

Since 1981, Bo Barret, son of the founder, has overseen the winemaking at Chateau Montelena, pursuing the goal of making flavorful but elegant, complex and age-worthy wines in the French style. Unlike many of its peers, Chateau Montelena’s wines do not undergo barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation or even aging in exclusively new oak barrels in order to emphasize the nuances of the terroir and the natural flavors of the grapes.

The 98-acre Montelena Estate vineyards, spanning flatlands and hillsides north of the winery alongside the Napa River, features a rich mix of alluvial, sedimentary and volcanic soils as well as an intriguing variety of microclimates. Primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the estate also includes several blocs of Zinfandel. Vines planted in these rocky soils are naturally low-yielding, and such techniques as organic pest control, dry farming, and crop thinning bring yields down even further. The results of such low yields are evidenced in the consistent quality of the “Estate” wines: full-bodied, intense and flavorful - though somewhat tannic in their youth - elegant, complex and age-worthy.

In addition to the “Estate” wines, Chateau Montelena also produces Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards elsewhere in the Napa Valley, Chardonnay from both the Napa and Alexander valleys and a small amount of Riesling from the Potter Valley in Mendicino County.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Napa Valley
Winery Ch. Montelena
Vintage 2021
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.0 x 30.5
Case Size 34.0 x 25.5 x 31.5
Alcohol 13.7%
Product Code MT21NCH
UPC 733555351326
MLF 0%

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Aromas of apple, white peach, honeysuckle and chamomile are accented with notes of fresh peach and apricot. The palate is bright and balanced between a zesty and mineral texture and rich flavors of melon, lemon curd, and crème brûlée. The finish starts with hints of tropical notes and lingers on through wisps of citrus, vanilla, and marzipan. 



Fermentation in stainless steel tanks followed by 10 months in 100% French oak.

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