1988 Alexander Valley Chardonnay

Whether we’re being besieged by the next ice age or the green house effect, the weather patterns of 1988 were not anywhere what we would consider ‘normal’. Below average rainfall during the winter months, cold rains in the spring with local mountain peaks sporting a cap of snow, and blasts of intense heat in the fall all contributed to produce small clusters and even smaller berries, which resulted in very concentrated and intense flavors in the wines.

The Chateau Montelena Alexander Valley Chardonnay is made from both hillside and benchland grapes. The hillside fruit normally gives our wine its bright varietal character while the valley floor contributes spice and body. This wine follows that pattern with just a bit more concentration owing to the vintage.

vintage weather

tasting notes

This chardonnay has a brilliant green-gold color, and the aromas have the unique Alexander Valley varietal spiciness. On the palate the flavors are bold and well defined leaning toward tropical fruit. Crisp acidity and a smooth, spicy texture combine to create a long fruity finish.

The subtle complexities in this young wine indicate continued development for two to six years. The fruitiness and spicy flavors will allow it to go very well with a wide variety of cuisine, particularly aromatically spiced dishes; perhaps those seasoned with ginger or five spice and other similarly zippy flavors.

Harvest Date September 1 to September 7
Sugar At Harvest 23.5° brix
Barrel Aging 6 months
Bottling Date July 1989
Release Date March 1990
Alcohol 13.0%