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Heitz Cellar Chardonnay 2016

  • WE91
  • WW91
  • JS90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • WE94
  • JS92
  • JD90
  • WS87
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

All of the classic elements marry together in our fresh and vibrant 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay. Upon its first impression, a bouquet of juicy peach fills the nose and undertones of toasted brioche hint at a subtle acquaintance with French oak. Expansive flavors of citrus, including mandarin orange and Meyer lemon, combine with bright acidity, yet beautifully balanced with a creamy mouthfeel on the palate. Refreshing on its own, this wine also has the texture and weight that make it ideal with food.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A matchstick aroma leads to a package of great flavor and texture in this white from a historic producer. Flavors of apple, lemon and peach accentuate the creamy mouthfeel, with a honed balance of acidity, tannins and oak. Editors’ Choice
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: My history with the Heitz Cellar Chardonnays goes back to the early 1970s, and while many of my notes are still in my composition books, I still recall the crispness of those wines. The 2016 vintage is reliving its heritage and then some. TASTING NOTES: This wine is bright, crisp, and sassy. Its aromas and flavors of ripe apple and mineral notes are melding nicely together with a hint of oak textures. Pair it with shellfish in cream sauce. (Tasted: August 19, 2019, San Francisco, CA)
JS 90
James Suckling
Poached pears and sweetly fragrant white flowers on the nose with an array of lightly tangy melon and peaches in the mouth. This is a supple, juicy and fruit-forward style. Drink now.
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Heitz Cellar

Heitz Cellar

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Heitz Cellar, California
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Heitz Cellar has played a significant role in the history of Napa Valley winemaking since 1961. Founders, Joe and Alice Heitz, produced their first bottle of wine with a commitment to excellence that now spans three generations. Today, sibling team, Kathleen Heitz Myers and David Heitz, lead the family business as president and winemaker, producing wines that are recognized worldwide for their purity, balance and proven age-ability. Heitz Cellar is internationally acclaimed for the consistent brilliance of its vineyard-designated Cabernets. When Heitz Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was introduced in 1966, it was the first Napa Cabernet with the vineyard-designation on the label.
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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.

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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.

SOU916611_2016 Item# 509111