Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013 Front LabelChateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013 Front Bottle ShotChateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013 Back Bottle Shot

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013

  • WW93
750ML / 13.6% ABV
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4.4 30 Ratings
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4.4 30 Ratings
750ML / 13.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In the glass, the aromatics lean toward the floral and citrus families with rose petals, lemon blossom, and just a hint of ripe melon sneaking through. While the palate is opulent, full of lemon meringue, peach pie, and ripe strawberry, the vibrancy of the acidity reliably lays the foundation for food pairing and aging for many years to come. In classic Montelena fashion, the minerality steps into the spotlight on the finish, coupled with just enough orange zest, and the lingering richness of crème brûlée.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
40 years and still running strong, the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay began its history with the 1972 vintage and gained worldwide recognition when the 1973 offering bested a group highly acclaimed Burgundies in a major 1976 blind tasting. Over the years the winery has kept up its focused and consistently produced fine efforts. The 2013 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay is one of the best in the marketplace. Medium straw color; the aromas exhibit ripe apples and a shading of sweet oak; medium bodied, fine and rich on the palate; dry, nice acidity, well balanced; ripe apple and sweet oak in its vibrant flavors; medium finish. (Tasted: May 24, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

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Chateau Montelena, California
Chateau Montelena The Estate at Chateau Montelena Winery Image

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.

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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 red wines 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.

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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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

TON7071613_2013 Item# 151092

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