Mike Grgich, who turned 100 in April 2023, emigrated from Croatia to California in 1958 and worked his way up as a winemaker until, in 1973, he produced the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that triumphed in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting. His own winery, then Grgich Hills Cellar, was founded as a partnership in 1977. Grown near San Pablo Bay, the estate Chardonnay is fermented and aged in barrels and foudres, 40% of which ... read more
Mike Grgich, who turned 100 in April 2023, emigrated from Croatia to California in 1958 and worked his way up as a winemaker until, in 1973, he produced the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that triumphed in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting. His own winery, then Grgich Hills Cellar, was founded as a partnership in 1977. Grown near San Pablo Bay, the estate Chardonnay is fermented and aged in barrels and foudres, 40% of which are new French oak. Ronan Sayburn MS: Gunflint reductive nose with green cardamom, cucumber skin, oyster shell and seaweed. Smoky subtle oak. Lean, tight and mineral. Eugenio Egorov: Hints of citrus and caramel with a touch of vanilla on the nose. Creamy and vibrant with beautiful citrus and balanced acidity. Ben Gubbins: Struck match, toast and lime aromas. The palate is firm and citrussy, holding tight through a citrus and pineapple finish.
James Suckling 93
Aromas of dried orange peel, lemon grass and hay. Medium-bodied with lovely complexity. Herbs and dried citrus meld together, with a hint of white tea adding intrigue. Well composed. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
Wine Advocate 92
A non-malolactic wine—made in the spirit of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that impressed at the Paris tasting in 1976—Grgich's 2020 Estate Grown Chardonnay features gentle toasty notes, a hint of roasted hazelnut, plus bright pineapple and citrus fruit. It's medium-bodied, zesty and refreshing, with a long, clean finish.
Wine Enthusiast 92
This fruity, fresh and well-balanced wine offers an appetizing mixture of lemony crispness along with baked apple richness. A relatively light body and smooth texture bring out more ripeness and butter on the palate and finish.
VINTAGE: 2020 was a challenging but ultimately one of the most rewarding vintages for us. One of the hottest vintages on record with multiple heat waves well over 100 degrees, vintage 2020 was also accompanied by exceptionally low rainfall: 50-60% below average. Despite the heat and drought, our vines were well prepared for the stress. Due to low rainfall in 2020, the
vines prepared themselves for drought by producing less leaves, which requires less water. The heat and drought produced exceptionally low yields but with excellent quality – great acid and freshness in white wines, and beautiful concentration and color in the reds.
VINEYARD: Our Chardonnay grapes thrive in 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 morning fog allow the grapes
to slowly ripen to develop complex flavors while maintaining a bright, natural acidity. We farm all of our certified organic vineyards naturally, using the principles of regenerative agriculture.
THE WINE: Miljenko “Mike” Grgich has been called “The King of Chardonnay” since the winery began in 1977, and you can taste why in this classically styled wine. Our unique Chardonnay does not undergo malolactic fermentation, preserving its natural fresh acidity. This Chardonnay entices you with aromas of fresh peach, citrus, and honeysuckle followed by bright fresh acidity and a beautiful chiseled minerality leading to a finish that is layered with undertones of passion fruit, white peach and a hint of Madagascar vanilla.
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Fermentation: Indigenous yeast; 2-3 weeks in barrel
Harvest date: Aug. 20 - Sept. 9, 2020
Sugar: 22.5˚ Brix (average)
Bottling date: June 2021
Release date: November 2022
Total acid: 6.6 g/L
Time in oak: Fermented and aged 10 months in 80% barrels and 20% foudres
Type of oak: French oak; 40% new barrels and 60% neutral barrels
Production: 15,767 cases (12/750 ml.)
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm five estate vineyards without artificial pesticides or herbicides, rely on wild yeast fermentation and use our passion and art to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines.
- 2020 — 750mL (wine)(currently viewing)
- 2019 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2018 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2017 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2016 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2015 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2014 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2013 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2012 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2011 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2010 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2009 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2008 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
- 2007 — 750mL (wine)(currently unavialable)
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