Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Michaud Vineyard and Winery 1998 Chardonnay, Estate (Chalone)

Michaud Vineyard and Winery

1998 Chardonnay, Estate

At the price, this wine is a steal for the fact that there are no – none– Chardonnays from California presently on the market from the 1998 vintage. That’s because there are scant few Chardonnays that are as age-worthy as Michael Michaud’s. What’s more, the wine is spectacular.

We at APPELLATION AMERICA were thrilled after blind-tasting a half-dozen of Michaud Vineyard Chardonnays currently on the market. We were excited because all the wines show a consistent thread of place, the colors are vibrant, they are elegant and restrained at the same time, and they are simply wonderful. What a revelation to taste wines that are clean and stylish all at once.

This 9-year-old white wine is showing some age. Resist the temptation, however, to allow the oxidized sherry-like aromas put you off. For my taste, it adds a patina of character and interest. Because in the end, you’ll discover a wine with fresh, very much alive fruit and a wine with perfect balance. There’s some honey qualities, too, not unlike aged Chablis. There are also some vanilla notes and a definitive bit of minerality from the limestone and granite soils in Michaud’s 1,500-foot Chalone AVA vineyard. Additionally, the wine has another six years of good life left to it.

The wine was fermented for 10 ½ months in French barrels, a third of which was new. The pH is a very low 3.34, which tells you that the acidity is much a part of the whole. The alcohol is 14.25 percent although the grapes were picked at 23.4 Brix (measure of sugar), low by California standards. There were 1,650 cases produced.

NOTE: This library release wine is available as part of an exciting six vintage vertical tasting of Michaud Chardonnays (98, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04).
>>Click here to find out how to order.

Reviewed August 22, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Michaud Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 1998
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Chalone
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $38.00

Review Date: 8/22/2007

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.