Heitz Cellar Chardonnay 2016
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.
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Family owned since its founding in 1961, Heitz Cellar’s legacy runs as deep as the roots throughout the Napa Valley; a winery legend that has helped shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking. In the late 1950’s, pioneering vintner Joe Heitz ushered in Napa’s modern era with his iconic, globally celebrated wines, including Napa Valley’s first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon, the renowned Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard. Fifty-eight years of the Heitz family’s dedication to viticulture, stewardship, and classic winemaking, maintained the winery’s notoriety as a benchmark amongst its peers in California and Europe.
In April, 2018, Heitz Cellar entered an exciting new chapter as this rich legacy was passed into the hands of the Lawrence family, whose deep roots in agriculture and commitment to the same core values of fine winemaking made it a perfect match. The wines are made with an unwavering commitment to quality from organically farmed, 100% Napa Valley fruit, and a commitment to the sustainability of Napa Valley.
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. White wines from Napa Valley are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific wine 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. Napa Valley wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
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.