In the glass, the aromatics lean toward the floral and citrus families with rose petals, lemon blossom, and just a hint of ripe melon sneaking through. While the palate is opulent, full of lemon meringue, peach pie, and ripe strawberry, the vibrancy of the acidity reliably lays the foundation for food pairing and aging for many years to come. In classic Montelena fashion, the minerality steps into the spotlight on the finish, coupled with just enough orange zest, and the lingering richness of crème brûlée.
91 Points Vinous - The 2016 Chardonnay is bright, focused and finely-cut. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2016 much of its lifted, mid-weight personality. As always, the Montelena Chardonnay is done in a brisk, dry style, with blocked malolactic fermentation. This is a terrific set of new releases from Bo Barrett and winemaker Matt Crafton. After a bit of back and forth in recent years on the stylistic direction of the wines - the Cabernets in particular - Barrett seems to have settled into a very comfortable place, as is evidenced by the stellar 2016s. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in coming years. The 2016s seem to point to a slightly more classic style than the (admittedly) slight move to a sweeter, riper style seen in some recent vintages.