1994 Napa Valley Chardonnay

If you, (like us), have the bad habit of following the wine press, you are familiar with the great Hoo-Hah surrounding the 1994 vintage. As much as I enjoy poking fun at these “Vintage of the Century” commentaries I must go along, indeed echo enthusiastically, the underlying fact that 1994 was a fantastic year to make wine in the Napa Valley.

If you, (like us): enjoy apple-pear, citrus, floral, spice, mineral or any of the myriad other natural fruit characteristics of chardonnay; enjoy a bright full bodied wine with a faint kiss of oak and vinous notes that naturally evolve over time, (ever heard of aging white wines?); enjoy a glass of Chardonnay that tastes like it was made from grapes, you will enjoy our 1994 Napa Valley Chardonnay.

Chateau Montelena's philosophy of tradition, quality and integrity defines how our wines are styled, not the latest trend in the wine press. Thus, when the fruit is so naturally close to it's maximum potential, we try to keep it pure. We think this philosophy shows very nicely in this wine... great fruit from great vineyards makes great wine.

vintage weather

Temperate Consistent. Low rainfall, with classic warm days and cool nights all season long. Overcast mornings and warm afternoons all the way from veraison through harvest. Grapes ripened steadily and harvest was very orderly. Crop size above average, with excellent maturation and flavors

tasting notes

This wine has a big, green apple varietal character dominating the aroma, followed by tonal layers of spices, melon , mineral soils and some of the Muscat clone chardonnay we like to use. In the back of the aroma there is a kiss of oak from barrel aging and vinous characteristics from fermentation. However, we expect that for the first three to five years of aging the strong green apple fruit will continue to drive this wine's bouquet. On the palate is where I really like this wine. It has a delicate balance, very smooth and mouthfilling fruit, but not at all aggressive. This wine is refreshing yet has great length. Check out how long the finish rolls around the palate with the rich fruit. It will probably be the best aging wine we have made in many years, and it tastes great now.

Harvest Date September 6 to October 11
Sugar At Harvest 23.3° brix average
Barrel Aging 6 to 8 months
Bottling Date August 1995
Release Date September 1996
Cases Produced 12,000
Alcohol 13.9%