Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Michaud Vineyard and Winery 2000 Chardonnay, Estate (Chalone)

Michaud Vineyard and Winery

2000 Chardonnay, Estate

For my money, there are about three Chardonnay producers in California whose wines show great restraint of winemaking, true expressions from the site in which they originate, and they are ageworthy. There’s Stony Hill and Smith-Madrone on top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. And then there’s Michaud Vineyard, in the eastern hills above Soledad in the Chalone AVA.

Why is this so? All three producers judiciously use oak to round out the rough edges but there is nary a trace of wood in the glass because they use very little (or none in the case of Stony Hill) new oak. Michaud had been using about one-third new French barrels, but he’s beginning to ratchet that down.

The 2000, which is still available because Michael Michaud holds his wines back until they’re ready to drink, shows slight bottle age of oxidation. But this wine is still fresh as can be. There are hints of melon and the minerality from the limestone and granite soil gives it a clean freshness. In the mouth, this Chardonnay is stylish and elegant with gorgeous fruit and perfect balance. It’ll go for another 10 years.

The wine was aged for 11 months in French barrels with tight grain and that have air-dried for three years. The pH is 3.45, an indication of good acidity. Although the wine was picked at just under 24 Brix (measure of sugar) the alcohol is high – 14.6 – but one would never know it, so devoid of wood aromas and taste is it. There were slightly more than 2,000 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.


Other Awards & Accolades

90 Points - Wine Enthusiast (May, 2003)
88 Points - Wine Spectator (July 31, 2003)
Top 100 Wines - San Francisco Chronicle (December 7, 2003)

The Wine

Winery: Michaud Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2000
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.