Grgich Hills Chardonnay 2016
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated 'Paris Tasting of 1976'. Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich, as the finest white wine in the world. The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills. It was an ideal partnership. Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet. Mike, with his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, began producing what immediately became the signature Grgich Hills wine: exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays. Now 93 years old and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch.
Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, Grgich Hills farms five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, relies on wild yeast fermentation and uses the art of winemaking to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines. In keeping with their goal of sustainability, the winery switched to solar power in 2006. As Mike often says, “From our vineyard to your glass, naturally!” The Napa Esate
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
DecanterStunningly complex with aromas of smoke, brioche, toast and a little flintiness. This is beautifully balanced with a blend of sweet apple, oyster shell and gentle sweet oak. A classy wine with such potential to develop further.
Wine EnthusiastAfter opening to touches of oak and reduction, this white evolves into a lovely swan, beautifully structured and deep in texture and flavor. Pear, apple and pineapple wrap around toast and dried herb, finishing strong and supple. This will do well with further aging; enjoy 2021–2026.
Wine AdvocateThe 2016 Chardonnay reveals intense white peach, pear tart and pineapple scents with touches of honeysuckle, struck flint, pie crust and honeycomb. Medium-bodied with fantastic tension and loads of citrus and tropical layers, it has a satiny texture and finishes with great length.
Jeb DunnuckThe 2016 Chardonnay is slightly more straightforward, with some toasty oak in its ripe orchard fruits, brioche, and spicy aromas and flavors. This nicely textured, medium-bodied, balanced effort will drink nicely for 4-6 years.