Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Grgich Hills Cellar 2004 Chardonnay, Estate (Napa Valley)

Grgich Hills Cellar

2004 Chardonnay, Estate
(Napa Valley)

Most every review of a Mike Grgich Chardonnay begins with “the Paris tasting, blah, blah, blah.” It’s been a long, long time since that signal event in American history, so we won’t bore you with it (although I’m sure I’ve already done so by just mentioning it). If you’re really interested, do a search on this site of “Paris tasting,” where I’m sure you’ll find a ton of stuff (including Dan Berger’s commentary on Paris ’76 Redux).

Anyway, this Chardonnay, which is farmed organically and is moving toward biodynamic practices, is a typical Grgich wine, in that it’s beautifully balanced with some viscosity and bright, tropical fruit. There are hints of freshly mown hay in the nose and eucalyptus and sweet kiwi. The wine is young though, so I urge you to hold onto it for a year or two and drink it over the following eight years.

The fruit comes from Ggrich’s American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, marking the first time in the amazing career of Mike Grgich, that he completely controlled all of his Chardonnay grapes -- an amazing fact. Further, the wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation (ML), which to my mind masks and sweetens the true nature of the variety.

The listed alcohol is 14.3 percent, the yeasts are indigenous, and the wine spent eight months in French oak, only one-third of which was new. There were a whopping 24, 500 cases produced.

Reviewed December 21, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Grgich Hills Cellar


The Wine

Winery: Grgich Hills Cellar
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $38.00

Review Date: 12/21/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.