Bright yellow. Musky peach, pear and apple fruit aromas and flavors are complicated by flowers and herbs. Concentration and precise, with a dusty impression of extract and very good length. Quite strong for this no-malo chardonnay. Bo Barrett is now vinifying with a higher percentage of whole clusters and getting less bitterness as a result. 'So now we don't need as much new oak to compensate,' he noted, adding that 2007 was an outstanding vintage for chardonnay as there was no heat stress.
A delicate and complex bouquet of lychee, white peach, citrus, orange blossoms and hints of toasted almonds is supported by a strong backbone of minerality. Soft and fleshy flavors are deftly integrated with bright citrus and subtle notes of oak on the long and pleasant finish.
2009 was a bountiful harvest, so much so that the team at Chateau Montelena exercised strict triage and used only the best fruit for the Estate Chardonnay. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (9% new), juice from the estate’s new Dijon clones was added to the blend to enhance floral tones and add complexity.
It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.