The 2009 Chardonnay is one of the most unique Chardonnays being made in California. It shows gorgeous textural finesse and fabulous overall balance. The signature Napa Valley richness is there, but in a cooler, more mineral-driven style. Smoke, crushed rocks and citrus are layered into the vibrant finish. This is a fabulous showing. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Antica, the Antinori family’s outpost on Atlas Peak. Even though Antinori has been involved with this property since the late 1980s, these are essentially the first wines the family has made in its own facility. The Chardonnay is aged in 30-33% new barrels, sees batonnage for the first three months and undergoes partial malolactic fermentation.
From Antinori's vineyard on Atlas Peak, this chardonnay is a blend of six different blocks, planted in the range of 1,400 feet elevation. This was whole-cluster pressed, the must chilled in stainless steel before fermenting and aging in French oak (30 percent new). That oak influence is more apparent in the full richness of the wine than in the aroma or flavor. Pale, savory, creamy and fine, this has a finish that brings lemon curd and apples to mind. There's a pleasant warmth to the end, balancing the firm, concentrated fruit and placing it with roast fish.
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