1987 Napa Valley Chardonnay

One of the best aspects of growing and making Napa Valley Chardonnay is experiencing how nicely each growing seasons’ individuality manifests itself in the finished wine. In the Napa Valley, we have the happy circumstance where regardless of a “hot” or “cool” season, we can grow and crush some really tasty fruit.

Some years the weather is cool and we get higher acid, classically defined "Euro-style" Chardonnay. In warmer years, we have lush, smoother wines exhibiting a richness and enjoyable bounty of fruit character unique to our appellation. The 1987 Chardonnay is one of the latter. It was warm all through the season and the fruit ripened earlier than normal. Historically, this type of season produces wines that drink nicely in their youth.

vintage weather

Hot. Drier than normal winter and a hot spring resulted in significant shatter. Late summer heat led to early crush. Yield was light, wine is very concentrated.

tasting notes

The wine is rich green-gold color. The vintage's style is immediately apparent in the bold varietal aromas, mingled with melon and vanilla bean.The vintage's style is immediately apparent in the bold varietal aromas, mingled with melon and vanilla bean. There are bright, juicy, melony flavors enjoyable in their first taste, followed by layers of complexity, hints of yeast, and oaky vanilla characteristic of the Montelena style. The balance is very bright and crisp with youthful acidity. This gives way to a nice lingering appley-lemon fruit aftertaste. All this adds up to a well-layered structure with a clean, bright finish.

While smooth and very drinkable now, it will age nicely for about four years to full maturity. This wine has a smooth power that will make it an excellent accompaniment to a range of cuisine only limited by one's imagination and ingenuity. We can't wait to try it out ourselves.

Harvest Date August 21 to September 9
Sugar At Harvest 23.0° brix
Barrel Aging 6 months
Bottling Date August 1988
Release Date September 1989
Cases Produced 12,200
Alcohol 13.0%