1984 Napa Valley Chardonnay

The 1984 harvest will be remembered for the intense heat and rapid ripening of our Chardonnay vineyards. The resulting concentrated sweetness of the fruit has produced a wine with all of the expected intensity from a warm, early vintage.

vintage weather

Hot. Very heavy late fall-early winter rains, but no late winter rains resulted in warm soils and early bud-break. Hot spring and summer, shortest growing season on record. Fruit very clean, big, with surprisingly good balance.

tasting notes

The color of the wine is a bright green-gold. The full-body and richness of the wine are easily demonstrated by the appearance of viscous "legs" on the sides of the wineglass. The aroma is of pure Chardonnay fruit with that rich green apple and spicy quality, unique to the varietal. Enhancing the aroma even further are notes of lush citrus and pineapple, along with the wafting influence of yeast and oak derived from six months in small French barrels. The body and texture are finely balanced, but leans towards a "big" or "rich" style of wine just as we expected from this vintage.

The lingering finish and smoothly appealing aftertaste are typical of the balanced Montelena style and the brilliant fruit flavors should power this wine through 1-5 years of further development and bottle aging.

Harvest Date August 27 to September 15
Sugar At Harvest 22.7° brix
Barrel Aging 6 months
Bottling Date August 1986
Release Date March 1987
Alcohol 13.0%