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Flat front label of wine

Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • W&S91
  • CG90
14.4% ABV
  • WE93
  • WW92
  • WS90
  • WW92
  • CG91
  • CG90
  • WE91
  • WE91
  • W&S94
  • WS91
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Try the 2014 Vintage 36 99
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5.0 2 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine's crisp, yet rich, flavors of apple, honeydew melon and fig with a hint of baked brioche are perfect for fresh seafood, roasted chicken, grilled pork, or creamy cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Grown under a biodynamic regimen in Grgich's American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, this ferments without added yeast in oak barrels (40 percent new); it does not go through malolactic fermentation. The style is substantial and distinctive, requiring air to settle into its flavors. At first, the oak battles with the acidity in the orange citrus flavors until they slowly combine into savory fruit richness. Hints of fennel add to the wine's complexity, bringing to mind accompaniments such as rabbit pate or blanquette de veau.
CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
Made in the now time-tested manner of Grgich Chardonnays, this new edition is tight and tempting but very far from its best in the moment. There is ample if somewhat reluctant appley fruit to be found at its heart, and the citrusy, lemon zest seasoning that accompanies it repeats in the mouth in a more forceful manner. Long but bracingly acidy in the finish, the wine will show more and more to like over the next three to five years, and while it is ready to mate with the tangiest shellfish dishes today, we would counsel that you wait a bit.
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Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills Estate

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Grgich Hills Estate, Napa Valley, California
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Mike Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated "Paris Tasting" of 1976 in which a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When the results where in, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen Mike’s 1973 Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike Grgich a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.

Today, Grgich remains committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. Grgich is proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more 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.

LMC114993_2009 Item# 114993