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Grgich Hills Estate Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay 2017

Napa Valley
White Wine

The range of grape varieties grown in the Napa Valley has evolved steadily over the 150 years since Yount planted his first vines. Cabernet Sauvignon has risen confidently to become Napa's star performer, and is the most widely planted grape in almost all of the valley's sub-regions.


The notable exception to this rule is Carneros, whose cool, breezy mesoclimate is better suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Merlot is also prominent, although since its fall from favor in the 1990s it is now used mostly as a blending component for Napa's Meritage wines and Bordeaux blends.


Despite its global success, Chardonnay as a grape is relatively neutral and it is not considered an aromatic variety. Indeed, it is often dubbed "the winemaker's grape", for it is in the winery that many of its defining characters are amplified or reduced. Made in a variety of styles, Chardonnay wines can show fruit notes that run from citrusy and mineral to exotic and toasty.


At its most basic, Chardonnay produces wines of a light golden hue, with notes of citrus, green apple, blossom and almonds or oatmeal. On the palate, Chardonnay has moderate acidity and moderate alcohol with a medium body. Climate, as well as viticulture and winemaking, play a major role in the aromas and flavors of the resulting wine.


Tasting note: "With a touch of reduction and matchstick on the nose, this wine takes time to unfurl—its thick, rich opening notes finding a sense of lightness on the midpalate. Almond, apple and pineapple flavors are met by a mineral component of crushed rock and wet stone.”

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