Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2004 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay

I really wanted to polish off a top Napa Chardonnay this month, and I was willing to spend top $$ to do so. After the somewhat disappointing (for the price) Beringer earlier this month, despite top ratings, I knew it was time to find a more 'old-school' Napa producer. I went to Chateau Montelena because I was so enthralled with a 1990 Chateau Montelena Cabernet last fall that I was sure the Chardonnay would not disappoint. I was right!

The 2004 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was white gold in the glass, and pure gold on the nose and palate. Minerally and lemony at first, with farm fresh butter right out of the wrapper, it later released pleasing notes of honeysuckle, apple, melon, banana, toast and a hint of oak. On the palate it was crisp and velvety with lemony toast, minerally, and very well balanced. Much more Bourgogne than the Beringer, this probably keeps a few more years in the cellar. I have rarely gulped a bottle of Chardonnay as fast as I did tonight. A nice pairing for grilled Tandoori (mild) shrimp, fresh off the barbie.
13.9% alcohol
Score: 18/20
Price: C$45 (SAQ)


David McDuff said...

Hey Joe,
Montelena produces, year in and year out, one of the most characterful Chardonnays of California. That comes, of course, from a person with a palate more finely attuned to Burgundy than to Napa and Sonoma. I think the key is that Montelena suppresses malolactic fermentation for their Chard, bypassing the popular request for butter and instead letting acidity play a role in the structure and evolution of the wine.

Joe said...

Thanks McDuff. Funny that I never thought of Montelena Chardonnay, at least not before I had this one.
I have always thought myself "style agnostic" - liking both new and old world styles the same, but using them in a different way. I think I am now gravitating more towards the style Montelena is trying to acheive. Cheers!

Miss Jenjen. said...

Hi, may I know where can I get a bottle of 2004 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay?

Joe said...

Hi Jenjen - I'm in Canada...the shops have already moved on to the 2006 and don't ship out of country. You should check out one of the US online sellers (K&L, Binny's, etc.) and see if they will ship to your part of the world - they just might have some older vintages. But no need to find the 2004 - I have had other vintages, all very impressive - Happy Hunting!