1999 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1999 Chardonnay is one of the finest Montelena has made over recent years. Perhaps the introduction of some malolactic as well as barrel fermentation has given the wine more mid-palate and texture, without compromising Montelena's style. The wine possesses abundant quantities of lemon, pear, and apple notes, zesty, full-bodied flavors as well as crisp, nicely-integrated acidity, 13.8% alcohol, admirable concentration, and richness and density. It should last for 5-6 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale peach skin color. Green apple, pear and honey on the nose. Fat, honeyed and rich but adamantly dry, with earthy low tones. Rather linear today, and not yet revealing its personality. Very young and in need of 9 to 12 months of patience.
Intense, with flint, peach, peach pit, mineral, citrus and leafy notes. It's complex and concentrated, the kind of wine that will benefit from short-term cellaring.
1999 was the second consecutive late vintage, with the entire growing season dominated by cool weather. Chardonnay, although an early-ripening variety, ripened a month later than average leading to a September - October harvest. The yield was also lower than average; a small crop was forecast and it came in even lighter than anticipated. Last bottles!