1985 Napa Valley Chardonnay

In our consecutive vintages of winemaking experience leading up to 1985, it is difficult for us to recall a finer growing season for Chardonnay, and even more difficult to imagine one to be any better. Virtually ideal weather and wine growing conditions prevailed all year long, culminating in warm days and cool nights during the ripening period, which allowed the Chardonnay grapes to achieve full physiological and organoleptic maturity at a lower than normal sugar level.

This type of vintage produces wine that will develop magnificently and be long-lived, pronouncements that are fully supported by the flavor and character present in the 1985 "Napa Valley" Chardonnay.

vintage weather

Cool variable. No late winter rains resulted in early bud-break with a long, moderate growing season. Dry, cool fall weather during crush, long harvest. Excellent fruit and balance.

tasting notes

The wine has a bright, intensely green-gold color with a subtle aroma of lemony Chardonnay fruit. Also noticeable now are hints of yeast and oak, which add to the overall complexity. Tightly balanced with acid, yet full-bodied in the mouth, this wine is reminiscent of other long-lived Chardonnays released from Chateau Montelena. While quite appealing now, it has the potential to be one of our best vintages to date.

Harvest Date August 27 to September 16
Sugar At Harvest 22.6° brix
Barrel Aging 6 months
Bottling Date August 1986
Release Date September 1987
Alcohol 13.0%