Wine Profile & Ratings
We find rich, ripe aromas of guava, honeydew, cantaloupe very nicely balanced with citrus-oriented aromas of lemon and grapefruit. These expressive fruit aromas are complemented by a nice streak of vanilla and oak from the barrel fermentation, and subtle butterscotch and caramel from the natural malolactic secondary fermentation. On the palate, this wine is the richest of our three estate-grown Chardonnays from 2018. The wine is full on the palate, with a richness and creaminess that somewhat belies the wonderful acidity that is in the midpalate. This contrast is very appealing, and the wine glides across the palate seamlessly towards a vibrant, yet graceful finish.
Specially designated Block and Clonal bottlings from Monticello Vineyards’ Block 1 date back 20+ years when we bottled our well-regarded Heirloom Clone wines in the early 2000s. Block 1 is now planted entirely to Clone 96, which has been a favorite of ours on the estate over the decades. Block 1 is on the ‘front’ of the property, located on the southwest corner. This front section of the property sits about 30 feet higher than the back of the property, as the estate gently slopes down towards the Napa River. In these front blocks, we notice a little more cobble and clay in the soil, where as in the rear lower blocks we can see more clay/sandy soil as you near the river. We’ve found Block 1 to be very favorable for the style of Chardonnay we enjoy producing.
Our 2018 Chardonnay was certainly a fun vintage to work with. With this wine, we employed two primary pressing techniques … Destem, Crush and Skin-Soak to extract more aroma and richer texture from the skins. Whole Cluster Pressing for vibrancy and freshness on the palate. These two juices were fermented exclusively in French Oak Barrels to further expand the complexities on the palate. All of these lots were fermented on Wild Yeast and underwent natural MaloLactic Fermentation.