(just 8% new oak): Bright yellow. Rather Chablis-like aromas of apple and resin, plus a hint of honey. Sweet and ripe in the nature of the vintage, offering a touch of creaminess to the flavors of fresh peach, apple, herbs and spices. Shows a broad spectrum of ripeness without any obvious extremes. A very successful vintage for this wine.
Montelena's 2012 Chardonnay has developed beautifully over the last year. Silky and generous on the palate, the 2012 is all about texture. White peach, lemon oil, spice and almond notes woven together in a very pretty, highly expressive Chardonnay. The blocked malo style keeps the flavors bright and fresh throughout. Year after year Chateau Montelena makes some of the most attractive, classically built Napa Valley Cabernets readers will come across. Deceptively medium in body, the flagship Estate bottling has a way of developing beautifully in bottle. Readers who want to get an early look at 2014 might enjoy this short video I shot with Bo Barrett just after harvest.
You know you’re doing something right when, after 45 years of Chardonnay winemaking, they name a California Chardonnay style after your winery, the 'Montelena style.' In short, it means a non-malolactic, minimally oaked Chardonnay. This estate has long made one of the best examples of a quiet, restrained Chardonnay that ages for 20 or more years. Montelena’s 2012 Chardonnay possesses zesty acidity as well as hints of white currants, delicate wood, tangerine oil and spice. Long and zesty with no noticeable oak (despite its barrel aging), it should drink well for 10-15 years. 90+ points. (RP)
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