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.
Price: C$45 (SAQ)