Grgich Hills Estate
2011 Estate Grown Napa Valley Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Estate Vineyards
California: Napa Valley
Go, Go Grgich!
We just love an excellent Chardonnay, but when a stupendous one comes along, we really swoon. We are thrilled to report that today’s Grgich Hills Estate 2011 Estate Grown Napa Valley Chardonnay handily earns the stupendous moniker.
Year after year, Grgich Chardonnay outsells every other Chardonnay that we showcase. Always, their Chardonnays are fresh, crisp, flavorful and very food friendly. If you enjoy great Chardonnay, you might just fall in love with today’s special wine.
Enjoy now, but stock up for spring and summer.
Light straw yellow color, from heart to edge, with just a touch of viscosity.
Very aromatic, with notes of buttery brioche, sweet vanilla bean, Meyer lemon, green apple, and grilled white peach.
Beautifully balanced, and exactly what you hope for in a Napa Chardonnay, this wine has robust flavors of Meyer lemon, white peach, caramel-dipped green apple, and a touch of buttery vanilla.
Long, elegant, and entirely approachable, the creamy fruit flavors slowly trail off, leaving a touch of honey at the very end of the palate.
A classic meal of French whole roasted chicken, cooked with fresh thyme, lemon slices, and root vegetables.
What the Winery Says
We farm all of our vineyards naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides, and they are certified organic and Biodynamic®. Our Chardonnay comes from our American Canyon and Carneros vineyards in the southern tip of Napa Valley, near San Pablo Bay, which spills into the San Francisco Bay. The cool maritime breezes and fog allow the grapes to slowly ripen to develop complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity that is impossible to achieve in warmer areas.
By farming naturally and not allowing the Chardonnay to undergo malolactic fermentation, we crafted a wine that is alive with delicious acidity.
Thanks to cool weather and unexpected rains, 2011 was a demanding, but in the end, rewarding vintage for us. The wet winter and spring delayed the start of bloom and then cool temperatures slowed grape development, pushing the start of harvest back by two weeks. More reminiscent of France than Napa Valley, this vintage fashioned elegant wines with great aromatics and the lower level of sugars from the cool growing season translated into lower alcohol.
92 Point Review-Robert Whitley Cool, rainy weather posed numerous challenges for the 2011 grape harvest in northern California, yet meticulous selection and skillful work in the cellar resulted in many successes. At Grgich, winemaker Ivo Jeramaz made the most of what nature gave him, crafting a lean but lovely Chardonnay that comes in at less than 14 percent alcohol by volume, a rarity these days in California. This vintage exhibits a delicate floral note, a hint of lemon oil, and mouth-watering acidity. From the Napa Valley’s premier Chardonnay producer, you would expect no less.
- Ivo Jeramaz
- 92 Points - Robert Whitley
- Napa Valley, California
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Chardonnay
- 100% Organic and biodynamic
- 10 months in French oak
About the Winery
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Eminent French judges chose Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu!
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz
Ivo was born in Croatia to a family of grape growers and as boy he assisted in making wine for his family’s enjoyment. In 1986, with the help of his uncle, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, Ivo followed his dream and came to Napa Valley.
He quickly fell in love with the scenic beauty of the area and became fascinated with wine making. During his almost-three decades at Grgich Hills Ivo has worked his way up in responsibility, learning the classic style and art of winemaking from his uncle, supported by the tools of science and technology.
While he has taken enology and viticulture courses at UC Davis, Ivo says, “I’ve learned more working in the vineyards and in the winery with Mike.” Under the guidance of his uncle, Ivo is now responsible for the day-to-day operations in the cellar and the vineyard.
“At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides,” Ivo says. “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive.”
Since 2003, our vineyards have been in full production, and our wines are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled. We have 366 total acres planted in five vineyards that form a string of pearls running through the heart of Napa Valley: American Canyon, Carneros, Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga.
Each has its own unique climate, and we have carefully chosen the varietals best-suited for each vineyard’s terroir. Because our vineyards are so vital to the success of our winemaking, we put great emphasis on being thoughtful stewards of our land and vines. We have done so for more than 30 years, and that is one primary reason why Grgich Hills has consistently produced award-winning wines that are enjoyed across America and all around the world.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Our guiding philosophy is quite simple: great wines always begin with exceptional fruit. Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and they are all Certified Organic.