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Wine of the Week-Grgich Hills Napa Valley 2011 Chardonnay $42

A half century of superior winemaking by "The King of Chardonnay"

Dwight Casimere | 5/7/2014, 1:31 p.m.
Rutherford, Napa Valley,CA--At 91 years old, Miljenko "Mike" Grgich is not only the Napa Valley's most senior winemaker, he is ...

Rutherford, Napa Valley,CA--At 91 years old, Miljenko "Mike" Grgich is not only the Napa Valley's most senior winemaker, he is its most celebrated. After founding Grgich Hills winery, he was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintner's Hall of Fame at the same time that he was celebrating his 50th vintage of winemaking in the Napa Valley.

Grgich's legacy is firmly cemented in winemaking history. He is the winemaker behind the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that bested several French white Burgundy wines in the wine tasting event that became known as the Judgment of Paris. That single triumph forever put Napa Valley and California wine on the map. The impact of that event still resonates today.

Fortunately for the wine-loving world, Mike Grgich is still producing great wine, specifically, his marvelous Chardonnay. Grgich Hills 2011 Chardonnay is distinctive for its elegant, full-bodied character, which displays the very best qualities of a California Chardonnay. The aroma of fresh-picked Golden Delicious apples envelopes you as the taste of tropical fruit, pineapple, mango and a hint of tangerine lingers on the tongue. A bright, crisp acidity and careful aging in new French oak makes it a perfect accompaniment for seafood Bouillabaise, creamy Lobster Bisque, fresh pheasant or free range chicken roasted with fresh morrell mushroom or pillow soft raviolis in a white truffle sauce. The wine also has enough body to stand up to fresh lamb with rosemary, drizzled with lemon and olive oil and slow-cooked over dying embers on the grill. This is your special summertime wine for dinner out in the garden with flickering Tiki tamps, the buzz of fireflies near the tulips and the moon rising high above.

Mike Grgich is still at the winery in Rutherford and will be happy to greet you and pour you a glass of his Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay 2011, which is only available at the winery.

His legacy is secure in the person of Violet Grgich, his daughter, who is the winery's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. A graduate of UC Davis, Violet's passion for wine developed at an early age, spending her summers at the winery, accompanying her famous father in the vineyards and the cellar. As the global ambassador for Grgich Hills, she conveys the sunny enthusiasm and passion that comes through with every sip of Grgich Hills Chardonnay. Violet, like her father, believes that wine brings people together and that wine is the centerpiece of a long, healthy and happy life. Her golden smile, as she sips a glass of Chardonnay is confirmation enough!