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 Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented 80% of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in previously- used small French oak barrels. We then aged Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels. The combination of the right clones and cool growing region produced juicy tropical fruit and lemongrass flavors with a touch of minerality at the end of a long finish that are perfect with a wide range of food, including grilled seafood, chicken, oysters, creamy pastas dishes and summer salads.