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Old 09-11-2007, 01:38 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

Chateau Garage pressed our 2007 Napa Rutherford Cabernet this week.
While doing so, one of our group decided to do a little cellar cleaning.
We opened a 1979 and 1980 Kistler Chardonnay and a 1979
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. Both of the Kistlers were pretty
much undrinkable. It wasn't so much the oxidation, but a total lack
of fruit and a "chemical" character. The Chateau Montelena was rather
nice. Definitely older, but still good Chardonnay fruit and a LOT of
complexity. I think I will have to put Chateau Montelena up there with
Stony Hill as a California Chardonnay that ages well.
Jim



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Old 09-11-2007, 04:10 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

Jim Mehl wrote:
Chateau Garage pressed our 2007 Napa Rutherford Cabernet this week.
While doing so, one of our group decided to do a little cellar cleaning.
We opened a 1979 and 1980 Kistler Chardonnay and a 1979
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. Both of the Kistlers were pretty
much undrinkable. It wasn't so much the oxidation, but a total lack
of fruit and a "chemical" character. The Chateau Montelena was rather
nice. Definitely older, but still good Chardonnay fruit and a LOT of
complexity. I think I will have to put Chateau Montelena up there with
Stony Hill as a California Chardonnay that ages well.


Interesting notes, Jim. I'd have to agree about the ageability of
Montelena's Chardonnay, though Jean makes it difficult to put that
information into practice ;-) And I'm not that surprised about the
Kistlers, either: for all the talk of their "Burgundian" character, the
few Kistler Chards that I've had have just been big big big with tons of
oak and malo character. From your experience, it's tempting to conclude
that the way to make an ageworthy CA Chardonnay is to block malolactic
fermentation. Any idea whether Grgich-Hill's can age like that?

Mark Lipton

p.s. Great website for Chateau Garage! I had no idea that it existed.


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Old 09-11-2007, 05:10 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

On Nov 9, 7:38 am, "Jim Mehl" wrote:
Chateau Garage pressed our 2007 Napa Rutherford Cabernet this week.
While doing so, one of our group decided to do a little cellar cleaning.
We opened a 1979 and 1980 Kistler Chardonnay and a 1979
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. Both of the Kistlers were pretty
much undrinkable. It wasn't so much the oxidation, but a total lack
of fruit and a "chemical" character. The Chateau Montelena was rather
nice. Definitely older, but still good Chardonnay fruit and a LOT of
complexity. I think I will have to put Chateau Montelena up there with
Stony Hill as a California Chardonnay that ages well.


There is no reason why a Chardonnay can not be made to age well for up
to at least a few decades, but most made in the US and Europe do not.
From selected locations with best growing and wine making technique,

It is not unusual for a Montrachet, top Chablis, etc to age well for
several decades. In California, I have found few that age well over a
decade on a regular basis. The top reserves of Au Bon Climat usually
do, and most of the few bottles of their reserves I have from 1989 -
1993 still are holding very well. These wines tend to be rather sharp
when young and need several years at least before they are good
drinking. Mount Eden Estate also often ages well for over a decade,
but there have been several exceptions. When it does age right, it can
be near the top.

Stony Hill made some Chardonnay that was outstanding and aged very
well in the distant past. I am not sure about more recent vintages. I
had both their estate 1991 and 1992. The quality of these was not so
good in my opinion, and they did not age very well. They were far
inferior to the Au Bon Climat reserves at over a decade old. Of course
it is possible that the bottles I had of the Stony Hill, bought at the
same time, had heat damage or some other storage problem before I
bought them.

I have aged quite a few Napa CSs for a long time with often good
results. However, I have not bought any Napa Chardonnay for long aging
in many years. I am sure there are a few exceptions. Of course most
wine, red or white, gets consumed before it is a decade old these
days, So I doubt if many wine makers worry much about how their wines
will age for several decades, especially if the wine is sharp and not
very good to drink when still young.


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Old 09-11-2007, 05:12 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

"Mark Lipton" wrote in message
...

Interesting notes, Jim. I'd have to agree about the ageability of
Montelena's Chardonnay, though Jean makes it difficult to put that
information into practice ;-) And I'm not that surprised about the
Kistlers, either: for all the talk of their "Burgundian" character, the
few Kistler Chards that I've had have just been big big big with tons of
oak and malo character. From your experience, it's tempting to conclude
that the way to make an ageworthy CA Chardonnay is to block malolactic
fermentation. Any idea whether Grgich-Hill's can age like that?

Mark Lipton

p.s. Great website for Chateau Garage! I had no idea that it existed.


Mark,
I haven't tried any Grgich-Hill Chards with any age on them. I have
found that Hanzell and Chalone also age well, or at least Chalone did
back when Mike Michaud was the winemaker. Stony Hill is still my
favorite for ageing. I've still got Stony's going back to 1982. I might
have to open one over Thanksgiving.

Thanks for the compliment on the Chateau Garage web site. We have
fun with it. All of our 2007's have fermented. The Chardonnay
(Carneros) is looking good. The Cabernet (Rutherford) got hit by
the early October rains and may be a problem.

Jim Mehl



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Old 09-11-2007, 05:27 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

El Molino and Stonyhill age very well.

10-20 years.
"cwdjrxyz" wrote in message
ups.com...
On Nov 9, 7:38 am, "Jim Mehl" wrote:
Chateau Garage pressed our 2007 Napa Rutherford Cabernet this week.
While doing so, one of our group decided to do a little cellar cleaning.
We opened a 1979 and 1980 Kistler Chardonnay and a 1979
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. Both of the Kistlers were pretty
much undrinkable. It wasn't so much the oxidation, but a total lack
of fruit and a "chemical" character. The Chateau Montelena was rather
nice. Definitely older, but still good Chardonnay fruit and a LOT of
complexity. I think I will have to put Chateau Montelena up there with
Stony Hill as a California Chardonnay that ages well.


There is no reason why a Chardonnay can not be made to age well for up
to at least a few decades, but most made in the US and Europe do not.
From selected locations with best growing and wine making technique,

It is not unusual for a Montrachet, top Chablis, etc to age well for
several decades. In California, I have found few that age well over a
decade on a regular basis. The top reserves of Au Bon Climat usually
do, and most of the few bottles of their reserves I have from 1989 -
1993 still are holding very well. These wines tend to be rather sharp
when young and need several years at least before they are good
drinking. Mount Eden Estate also often ages well for over a decade,
but there have been several exceptions. When it does age right, it can
be near the top.

Stony Hill made some Chardonnay that was outstanding and aged very
well in the distant past. I am not sure about more recent vintages. I
had both their estate 1991 and 1992. The quality of these was not so
good in my opinion, and they did not age very well. They were far
inferior to the Au Bon Climat reserves at over a decade old. Of course
it is possible that the bottles I had of the Stony Hill, bought at the
same time, had heat damage or some other storage problem before I
bought them.

I have aged quite a few Napa CSs for a long time with often good
results. However, I have not bought any Napa Chardonnay for long aging
in many years. I am sure there are a few exceptions. Of course most
wine, red or white, gets consumed before it is a decade old these
days, So I doubt if many wine makers worry much about how their wines
will age for several decades, especially if the wine is sharp and not
very good to drink when still young.






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Old 09-11-2007, 06:54 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

On Nov 9, 11:12 am, "Jim Mehl" wrote:

I haven't tried any Grgich-Hill Chards with any age on them. I have
found that Hanzell and Chalone also age well, or at least Chalone did
back when Mike Michaud was the winemaker. Stony Hill is still my
favorite for ageing. I've still got Stony's going back to 1982. I might
have to open one over Thanksgiving.


I still have a bottle each of Chalone Estate 1990, 1991, and 1992. I
should taste these before too long to see how well they have held up
on comparison to Au Bon Climats from the same years. I bet some of
your oldest Stony Hills will still be good. It will be interesting if
you have and taste the 1991 and 1992 Stony Hills that I had and found
to be not so good and that did not age very well. It would be
interesting to find out if your bottles are like mine, or if perhaps
my bottles had been damaged by storage conditions before I bought
them. Of course both Chalone and Stony Hills have changed owners, wine
makers etc over the years, so past quality may not predict present
quality.


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Old 09-11-2007, 09:17 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Posts: 365
Default Some older Chardonnays

He ..
Some time ago, we in the oenonecrophile group tasted a Le Montrachet 1929
.... beautiful. But, then 1929 is generally considered as one of the two or
three best vintages of the 20th century.
But it was def'ntly Chardonnay*.

Cheers

Nils
[*] Unless it contained some Pinot Blanc.
Answer to [email protected] dot se


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Old 09-11-2007, 11:24 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default Some older Chardonnays

"cwdjrxyz" wrote in message
ups.com...

I still have a bottle each of Chalone Estate 1990, 1991, and 1992. I
should taste these before too long to see how well they have held up
on comparison to Au Bon Climats from the same years. I bet some of
your oldest Stony Hills will still be good. It will be interesting if
you have and taste the 1991 and 1992 Stony Hills that I had and found
to be not so good and that did not age very well. It would be
interesting to find out if your bottles are like mine, or if perhaps
my bottles had been damaged by storage conditions before I bought
them. Of course both Chalone and Stony Hills have changed owners, wine
makers etc over the years, so past quality may not predict present
quality.


The only Chalones I have left are a few 80's and 87's. Obviously I better
get after them soon. I do have some Stony Hill 1991 and 1992. I should
also try them soon to see if my notes compare with yours. 1994 was the
last year I automatically bought a case of Stony.
Jim



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