Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017

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The 2017 Chardonnay is the quintessential embodiment of how perspective, perseverance, and adaptability can drive a vintage. It’s easy to be dismissive of a growing season beset by wild fluctuations in temperature, not to mention low yields, after a comparatively classic vintage in 2016. The unique and demanding growing conditions presented a rare, stylistic opportunity in crafting a wine that is at once exceptionally concentrated, but at ideal ripeness. As the heat continued to build in mid-August, and the “standards” of balance in flavor and texture transformed amidst the reality of the vintage, we allowed our ideas and our ideals to guide our decision-making in the field and the cellar. Yes, yields were very low and our self-imposed, narrow picking window was extraordinarily challenging for both the vineyard and cellar crews, but the resulting wine is every bit as special and delicious as we had hoped.