2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley
The rich, vibrant essence of Chardonnay: Bright, enticing fruity aromas - juicy Honeycrisp apple, citrus-laced Asian pear, ripe melon and fresh quince - are intermingled with vanilla-scented crème brûlée, subtle minerality, and traces of warm hazelnut and clove. These elements segue seamlessly to the palate, offering a lush, creamy mouth feel impeccably balanced by crisp, mouthwatering acidity.
Continuing a decade-long trend of cool growing seasons and late harvests, the 2011 growing season brought tenacious morning fog, unseasonably cool weather and rainfall at flowering time. The good news is that the cool conditions gave the grapes a generous amount of hangtime, which translates to optimum flavor maturity at relatively low brix (sugar). In one of the latest vintages on record, we began our Chardonnay harvest approximately two weeks later than normal, on September 22nd. Dry, mild conditions prevailed as we continued the harvest, wrapping it up October 13th, just ahead of a rainstorm. It was noted that yields were low, but the fruit showed superb flavor development and impeccable sugar to acid balance.