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2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa
(92 Points) The 2010 Chardonnay is quite a bit fresher and more linear than the 2009, partly because of the length of the growing season, partly because it is a year younger. Slate, minerals, crushed rocks and grapefruit linger on the precise, crystalline finish. This is a very Chablis-like Napa Valley Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.
(Tasting Prior to release)
I was very impressed with the wines I tasted at Chateau Montelena. Bo Barrett and his team are going for a food-friendly style. They certainly appear to be succeeding in the endeavor. The signature wines are the Chardonnay and the two Cabernet Sauvignons. The Chardonnay is fermented in steel and aged in oak with no malolactic fermentation or less stirring. There is no question the Chardonnay can age, but personally, I am not sure the wines improve beyond age ten or so, at least not markedly. The Cabernet Sauvignon Estate typically includes 2% or so of Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon is made from purchased fruit and incorporates small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Barrett describes 2008 as a tough vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon. Frost and shatter were an issue earlier in the year, while temperatures rose dramatically later in the summer. Barrett is much higher on 2009 because it presented virtually no problems. Wine Advocate #198, Dec 2011
List Price: $49.50
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