2018 Napa Chardonnay
The nearly ideal conditions that characterized Napa Valley’s 2018 growing season are on display with our lovingly rendered Napa Valley Chardonnay. Borne from our highly favored Bald Mountain site – a bowl-shaped vineyard at 1100 feet of elevation…half located in Napa County; the other half – Sonoma-side, this pleasing edition commemorates the tenth anniversary of Phililppe Melka’s first-ever chardonnay, an affirmation of what can happen when extraordinary Bordeaux talent meets Burgundian-style, New World fruit. A “collision” such as this can and does translate to a distinctive, gorgeous expression of artistry and inspiration, as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate attests:
- “The 2018 Chardonnay Napa Valley prances out of the glass with bold, showy pink grapefruit, fresh pineapple and ripe pears notes plus nuances of almond croissant, allspice and lime blossoms. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is gracefully constructed with layers of citrus and savory flavors, a silken texture and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering zesty note.” – 93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Lemony in hue, the nose of this remarkable 100% chardonnay teases with nuances of ripe golden delicious apple, and fresh pear. To advance the parlay, the wine’s attack drops it reticence, to reveal a coquettish liveliness replete with suggestions of lemon pastilles, poached pear, grapefruit zest, mineral, and a hint of fresh ginger. Whole cluster pressed, cold-settled, and fermented in French oak barrels sur lie, the wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation before aging in 45% new French oak for 16 months. Superbly balanced, the wine shows pleasing intensity, a delightful acidity and appropriate volume in the glass. Coy but demurely vibrant at the outset; the wine demonstrates a lithesome freshness and vigor through to a satisfyingly fulsome finish – reminding one of the prodigious promise attending one of Hollywood’s most gifted new talents, the luminescent Saoirse Ronan, whose three Oscar nominations since 2015 (age twenty one!) has everyone talking.
Bald Mountain, a neighbor of Mount Veeder, is situated in the Mayacamas Mountains on the western border of the Napa Valley. The south-facing vineyard sits at nearly 1600 feet above sea level, and offers stunning views of both the Sonoma and Napa Valleys, as well as of Marin’s Mt. Tamalpais to the south. Cool sunshine is abundant throughout the growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly while varietal character evolves completely.