1986 Alexander Valley Chardonnay

The long cool growing season of 1986 was an ideal year for Chardonnay, with the vines budding out early and the grapes being picked late. The fruit therefore achieved ripeness with normal or slightly low sugar levels due to the extended ripening period. The harvest of the grapes was very slow and allowed for optimal fruit handling at the cellar, which is critical to fine winemaking. In short, we had the time to carefully handle the grapes as they arrived at the winery and early on we knew that this ripe fruit with big flavors would yield a concentrated wine with great depth.

vintage weather

tasting notes

This 1986 Chardonnay is true to it Alexander Valley appellation with a slight greenish hue to the rich golden color and nice bright appearance in the glass. The nose is where its origins are most evident with intense Chardonnay varietal character of green apple and tropical coconut undertones. Similar smooth flavors carry over into a long finish. There is a kiss of oak evident from the aging but only as a background note as is the intent in Montelena's style of wines. All in all it is nicely balanced, elegant and tasty and should follow well its Alexander Valley predecessors. It is very youthful at this point and will really begin to open up in the latter part of 1988.

Harvest Date September 4 to September 12
Sugar At Harvest 23.2° brix
Barrel Aging 6 months
Bottling Date August 1987
Release Date March 1988
Alcohol 13.0%