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Napa Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, USA
The Napa Cellars 2018 Chardonnay displays classic Napa Valley Chardonnay characteristics indicative of this region. Aromas of baked apple, ripe pear, caramel, hazelnut and lemon curd excite the senses. A soft mouthfeel supports flavours of green apple with orange zest and almond pastry balanced with late, crisp acidity pulling together this well balanced, full-bodied Chardonnay.
Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
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Napa Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2018
The Napa Cellars 2017 Chardonnay displays classic Napa Valley Chardonnay characteristics indicative of this region. Aromas of baked apple, ripe pear, caramel, hazelnut and lemon curd excite the senses. A soft mouthfeel supports flavours of green apple with orange zest and almond pastry balanced with late, crisp acidity pulling together this well balanced, full-bodied Chardonnay.
Nappa Cellars Chardonnay is the perfect wine to pair with a Camembert French cheese plate drizzled with local honey and almond halves, or with panna-cotta topped with fresh berries for dessert.
Founded by Charlie Woods in 1976 in the early days Napa Cellars concentrated on Cabernet and Zinfandel. After several changes of ownership, they began building a reputation for big and bold Chardonnay, fashionable in the 1990’s. Owned by the Trinchero family since 2006, the style is now more restrained, whilst still being true to the Napa style.
Napa Valley, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, California, is the most famous and prestigious wine region anywhere in the New World. Situated immediately north of San Pablo Bay, the valley runs roughly SE – NW for approximately 35 miles (60km) between the Vacas and Mayacamas mountain ranges (to the east and west respectively).
There are several reasons for Napa Valley’s global renown as a wine region. Most obvious is that the wines are produced to high standards, in a popular style, and are very well marketed. Then there is the region’s accessibility from San Francisco. This draws millions of wine tourists to the valley each year to sample its wines and world-class gastronomy. And no less important (even after almost four decades) is the triumph of Napa Valley wines over their rivals from Bordeaux and Burgundy in the 1976 Paris Judgment.
Wine has been made in Napa Valley since the 19th Century, but it is only since the 1960s that wine of any particular quality has been produced.
Climate, geology and topography are three essential components in what makes Napa Valley such a first-rate viticultural area. The combined influences of San Pablo Bay and the hills of the North Coast Ranges are responsible for the valley’s very particular mesoclimate. The bay generates morning fog, and the hills channel it inland, up into the valley. Without this fog that comes rolling in from the bays, the valley’s climate would be substantially warmer than it is, making it difficult to achieve structure and balance in the wines. The fog doesn’t reach the higher parts of the valley, however, leaving these to rely on the cooling effects of altitude to keep their vines in balance.
Ratings 90 Points: Good freshness on the nose with green apples, limes and pear drops. Light to medium body, bright acidity and a crunchy finish. Drink now. James Suckling
The grapes for the 2017 Napa Cellars Chardonnay were selected from vineyards in renowned Chardonnay locations including south Napa Valley, Oak Knoll and Carneros. The proximity of these vineyards to the fog and breeze from San Francisco and Marin Bay creates a cooler climate, which is ideal for growing Chardonnay. These coastal effects also allow for a longer growing season, giving the fruit more time on the vine and helping produce energetic acidity and flavourful fruit. The Chardonnay grapes are carefully hand-picked, harvested and crushed. The wine is then fermented and undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation. The Chardonnay is then aged for eight months in French oak barrels, 24% new oak (99% French, 1% American) Alcohol % 14.1