Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottleBack shot of wine bottle

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2012

  • RP90
750ML / 13.6% ABV
Other Vintages
  • V94
  • JD90
  • WE93
  • W&S90
  • WW93
  • RP93
  • V92
  • RP90
All Vintages
Currently Unavailable $49.99
Try the 2016 Vintage 48 99
49 99
49 99
Save $0.00 (0%)
Ships Tomorrow
Limit 0 bottles per customer
Sold in increments of 0
1
Limit Reached
4.0 10 Ratings
My Wine Share
Vintage Alert
Alert me when new vintages are available
Have you tried this? Rate it now
(256 characters remaining)

4.0 10 Ratings
750ML / 13.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In the glass, the 2012 Chardonnay bursts with aromas of ripe peach, green apple, and honeydew. Next comes a touch of vanilla, lavender and orange blossom, with an underlying note of star jasmine. The concentration of the wine is evident on the palate: the rich viscosity is cut by bright acid and layers of kiwi, grapefruit, and soft minerality. The finish is pure bliss with a touch of sweet oak and lemon curd that just doesn't quit.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
You know you’re doing something right when, after 45 years of Chardonnay winemaking, they name a California Chardonnay style after your winery, the “Montelena style.” In short, it means a non-malolactic, minimally oaked Chardonnay. This estate has long made one of the best examples of a quiet, restrained Chardonnay that ages for 20 or more years. Montelena’s 2012 Chardonnay possesses zesty acidity as well as hints of white currants, delicate wood, tangerine oil and spice. Long and zesty with no noticeable oak (despite its barrel aging), it should drink well for 10-15 years.
View More
Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

View all products
Chateau Montelena, California
Image of winery

Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.

In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film Bottle Shock.

Today Chateau Montelena’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.

Image for Napa Valley content section
View all products

One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Image for Chardonnay content section
View all products

One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a dry, white wine. When Chardonnay grapes are planted on cool sites, the resulting wine's flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy this lighter style.

TON7071612_2012 Item# 135289

Update your browser to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

It's easy to update and using the latest version
of Internet Explorer means all your web browsing will be better.

Yes, Update Now
Cheers to You!

New Customers Save $20 off your first order of $100+. Code 20NEW

New Customers Save $20 off your first order of $100+. Code 20NEW

There was an error redeeming your code.

*New customers only. One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 11/18/2019. The $20 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, 187ML splits, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.

Search for ""

Processing Your Order...