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First Press Wine Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WE88
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Elegantly structured, this medium bodied chardonnay has aromas of lemon, spice, melon and a touch of vanilla. Flavors of yellow apples and pears lead to a textured, well balanced finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 88
Wine Enthusiast
What a bargain in a fine Chardonnay. There is a hint of vanilla, flavors of pears, apples and melons and a rich mouthfeel, perfectly balanced by ample acidity. Should be easy to find, with 15,000 cases produced. From Delicato.
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First Press Wine Cellars

First Press Wine Cellars

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First Press Wine Cellars, Napa Valley, California
Elegance. Structure. Balance. These are the elements of the extraordinary. You find them in the soaring work of architecture, the perfect line of poetry, the ballerina’s graceful leap, and in the exquisitely crafted Napa Valley wines of First Press Wine Cellars. First Press Wine Cellars focuses on the two varietals which best exemplify California’s premier winegrowing region, a richly textured Cabernet Sauvignon and a brightly refreshing Chardonnay. These wines are handcrafted to express Napa Valley’s unique terroir, that rare combination of soil, climate and topography that together provide the ideal conditions for growing the most noble winegrape varieties. We invite you to experience the ultimate expression of authentic Napa Valley wine.

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 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.

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 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.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay 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 Pairings

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 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG752021_2011 Item# 127403