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Clos Pegase Hommage White (Res Chard) 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WE94
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

In 1989 Jan Shrem acquired 365 acres of land in Carneros, christened it Mitsukos vineyard and began planting vines. We began producing wines from Mitsukos Vineyard as early as 1992, and produced our first Vineyard designated Chardonnay in 1994. By 1997 our vines were sufficiently mature to craft our first Hommage Reserve Chardonnay since 1989. We hand-picked 24 barrels from our best vineyard parcels planted to old-Wente and Dijon selections of Chardonnay, and held them for 16 months in French oak, sur-lies, prior to bottling a scant 614 cases. Dense and pure, this opulent Chardonnay offers plenty of fig, melon, nectarine and honeyed apricot fruit requisite of a serious food wine. This inaugural Mitsukos Vineyard Hommage is adorned by the whimsical oil, The Drunken Boat, by Alfred Wols, and is a fitting emblem of our spirited effort to launch a Reserve Chardonnay.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
WS 91
Wine Spectator
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Clos Pegase

Clos Pegase

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Clos Pegase, Napa Valley, California
Image of winery
Completed in 1987, Clos Pegase was designed to be a temple to wine on a 47 acre Calistoga vineyard. The winery has a total of 450 acres, mostly located in Carneros. The Clos Pegase label features Pegasus, painted circa 1890 by the French artist Redon. This painting is winery owner Jan Shrem's favorite work of art from his extensive private collection.

Napa Valley

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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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

Chardonnay

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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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

MNC4583F_1999 Item# 53203