2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay by Matthew Rinkerman
Pale golden color in the glass, with the faintest hint of green belying its youth, this Chardonnay opens with rich and intense aromas of lemon, lime leaf, citrus flowers, and a touch of honey before moving into spicy pie crust and a hint of mascarpone creaminess – all topped with a nice flinty finish. The citrus trend continues on the palate with a firm acidity and tropical star fruit. This wine has excellent mouthfeel with big full texture and a mouthcoating creaminess that nicely complements the white stone fruit (nectarine and peach) and slight green apple fruit flavors. On the finish, look for a pleasantly subtle marzipan nuttiness.
92 Points The Wine Advocate
“The 2010 Chardonnay is quite a bit fresher and more linear than the 2009, partly because of the length of the growing season, partly because it is a year younger. Slate, minerals, crushed rocks and grapefruit linger on the precise, crystalline finish. This is a very Chablis-like Napa Valley Chardonnay. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.”
91 Points International Wine Cellar
“Pale bright yellow. Complex, brisk aromas of musky pineapple, medicinal herbs, white pepper and licorice; hardly your typical California Chardonnay! At once dense and penetrating, with a strong spine of acidity and some unabsorbed SO2 currently hardening the middle palate. This rather uncompromising no-malolactic Chardonnay displays a serious structure for aging, and will probably need five to seven years to soften up and come into harmony. Assistant winemaker Matthew Crafton noted that in the cool growing season of 2010 it was a challenge to ripen Chardonnay in cooler sites in Napa Valley.
Contributed by Matthew Rinkerman