This is an elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, very much still in the style that won the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 and launched California Chardonnay onto the world wine scene. Silky on the palate, the 2011 has aromas of pear, citrus and honeysuckle. A bright acidity and a discrete touch of oak gives the ripe fruit flavors a lift. A wine to savor.
This would be a great bottle to take to a holiday dinner with people who would appreciate its finesse. It shows best with shellfish or fish in sauce — coquilles St. Jacques, lobster with drawn butter or Dungeness crab, but also a simple roast chicken.
Region: Napa Valley
Price: $40 to $50
Style: Elegant and nuanced
What it goes with: Fish and shellfish in sauce, lobster or crab, a simple roast chicken
Where to find it: Green Jug in Woodland Hills, (818) 887-9463, http://www.greenjug.com; Lincoln Fine Wines in Venice, (310) 392-7816, http://www.lincolnfinewines.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, http://www.thewineclub.com; the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, http://www.thewinecountry.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (800) 678-9463, http://www.whwc.com.