Chateau Montelena, Chardonnay Napa, CA
Napa Valley, CA- Showing bright yellow gold, with good color density. It smells great, like a green apple pie, bright and a little citrus-y. The palate is very nice, very smooth, with classic Chardonnay flavors of apple and kiwi, and a lovely finish that leaves the palate refreshed.
Notes from the Winemaker, Matt Crafton, July 2016
2014 vintage was sunny, just warm enough, and bountiful – the fundamental, or at least superficial, criteria for a “great” vintage. °e truth, naturally, is more complex and, while no one ever complains about beautiful weather an a bumper crop, we tend to look at vintage characteristics a bit differently. If there are good or great vintages, then ther necessarily must be bad vintages and I think these sorts of blanket statements are hyperbole at best. Just as any good c will tell you that nature doesn’t make bad ingredients, we see the trends, challenges and idiosyncrasies of each vintage as an opportunity to decode our soil, our vineyard, and our region through the lens of our fruit. It’s this perspective a our inherent intellectual or creative curiosity that sets us apart as the details and nuances of each growing season are what make each year special and unique in its own right, and thus the final wines “great.”
After a dry winter and mild spring, we did get one substantial rain event before budbreak to saturate the soil profile for the beginning of the growing season. However, drought conditions dominated overall necessitating precise application of water, which allowed the vines to maintain suÿcient stress but still ripen slowly and methodically throughout the summer warmth. °e temperatures remained relatively cool at night propelling harvest to an early but not record-setti start as all of the Chardonnay was picked over a roughly two week period from late August to early September.