Origin: Howell Mountain
Winemaker: Ted Lemon
Retail Price: $50
Notes: With a reputation for outstanding Chardonnay,
this is the Chateau's first attempt to break into the red wine market.
Their 1996 Meritage, 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot offers subtle
plum flavors and an elegant mouth-feel. With heavy tannins on the finish,
it may benefit from a few more years bottle aging. (Date tasted: 03/03/00)
This top-class winery was started in 1982 by Francis and Françoise
DeWavrin-Woltner, former owners of France's prestigious Chateau La Mission
Haut Brion in Bordeaux. The winery's Chardonnay (five labels including
small vineyard designations), are equal in quality to the best Chards
produced in America, or anywhere else for that matter. In addition to
their Burgundian-style Chardonnays, the winery began producing a Merlot/Cabernet
blend in 1996. With vineyards at elevations of 1,600-1,800 feet up Howell
Mountain, the winery is noted for its lush, concentrated fruit flavors
thanks to conditions very different from those far below on the Napa
Valley floor. Superb winemaker Tom Lemon trained for five years in Burgundy,
expertise which is evident in every bottle. We judge the Titus and Frédérique
Vineyard Chardonnays to be about as good as white wine gets in America.
2000 Ladera Vineyards bought Chateau Woltner. The $20 million purchase
included the winery, along with 73 hectares of land, including 21 hectares
of Chardonnay and 6 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon.
150 White Cottage Rd. S.
City: Angwin, CA USA
Web site: n/a