Made by one of the most-celebrated American winemakers from fruit grown in some of the most expensive real-estate in the country, this is a Chardonnay that is worth writing home about.
The nose opens with refinement and extremely pretty notes of citrus and floral characteristics, but then quickly develops spice and warm, ripe fruit flavours. The palate is broad ans lush with myriad flavours of tropical and fresh fruits, ripening spices, all laced with sweet spices and a coating, juicy texture.
The way that they describe it themselves is that the palate experiences the wine in different sections - the front being citrussy, the back with the spice notes and the mid-palate with warmth and breadth of tropical fruits. They know what they're at...
This is very much a wine that is made to impress, but is also a wine made from impressive fruit and grown in a seriously impressive context: if the result was anything less than the way it is, there would be serious questions to be answered. The ingredients are top, top level; the winemaker is wonderfully gifted and has a stylistic reputation to uphold; the Napa Chardonnay expectations are for rich, yet balanced, concentrated wines... you wouldn't expect anything less than this. Yet, the really remarkable feature of this wine is its liveliness and balance. Achieved by careful vineyard management and harvesting over a relatively long period of time, Grgich achieves a wide range of ripeness and acidity levels which prevents a one-sided, flabby, blancmange-like mess: this wine, though impressive and full, is lithe, refined and elegant. Oh, and utterly delicious.
Mike Grgich shot to international fame as the winemaker for Château Montelena's Judgement-of-Paris-winning Chardonnay in 1976. A year later he set up the winery Grgich Hills - not on any hills, but with vineyard owner Austin Hills. Together they established a winery that is still in family hands, family run and world-renowned.
Region: Napa Valley
Style: Vibrant, Sustainable, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Refined, Pure, Profound, Organic, Medium Bodied, Iconic, Fresh, Engaging, Elegant, Complex, Biodynamic, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Tuna, Trout, Sushi, St Stephen's Day, Squid, Soft Cheeses, Shellfish, Seafood, Salads, Roasts, Poultry, Oysters, Mature Cheeses, Lobster, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie