Review of 2012 Alta Napa Valley Chardonnay

By | January 19, 2015

Product: Alta Napa Valley ChardonnayAlta

Released: February 2014

Best to buy: Amazon

Vintage: 2012

Rating: 85/100 clarification here

Price: $26


This wine is one of the prime examples of a quality wine from one of the smaller, family owned wineries that the California area is so rich of.

Winemaker’s Notes

The grapes for this wine were sourced from the Beard vineyard in the Yountville District of the Napa Valley.  100% Chardonnay grapes were barrel fermented in a mixture of stainless steel and second year French oak Chardonnay barrels.  The wine rested on its lees for a period of 6 months.  Total time of oak contact was 9 months.

Tasting Notes

The 2012 Alta Winery Chardonnay has a compelling nose of lemon blossoms, bananas, and pineapples layered above clove and allspice and the perfume of toasted oak. In the mouth, the oak integrates seamlessly with tropical fruit and pineapple flavours while the acidity brightens the fruit as it stretches out across the palate. This wine has good complexity, with a crisp mouth feel, hints of citric zest and tropical fruit creaminess. The palate is warmed by the oak influence, which works well with the flavours evolving over time into spiced pears. The wine was made for early consumption, but the acidity and aromatic sophistication should last for up to a decade. Sounds like a perfect wine? Just press the link here.

Food pairing

This wine goes very well with grilled chicken, (teriyaki glazed) salmon, lobster and various salads.

About the Alta vineyard

Alta is a small family owned and operated vineyard and winery.  When founder Fred Oliai first laid eyes on the 90+ acre ALTA Vineyard in 2008, he instantly recognized the magic and the amazing potential of the site.

They are tilling the soil it uses as little as possible and restricting the use of chemicals and fertilizers. Intense hand farming, gentle fermentation and old world cellar practices all combine to yield exceptional results. 

Their farming and wine making philosophy is simple: The best fruit makes the best wine. From farming methods that sustain the rich and bio-diverse ecosystem of the ALTA Vineyard to the organically farmed Heitz Vineyard with its hillside sandy soils on the eastern slopes of the Napa Valley, they believe that the most important part of wine making happens in the vineyard. Hand picking and gentle fermentation techniques are essential to creating the outstanding, artisan wines ALTA is known for.  All of their white wines are barrel fermented in a mixture of new and second year French Oak barrels.  

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What do the ratings mean?

Score Explanation
95–100 A classic great wine
90–94 An outstanding wine of superior character and style
85–89 A very good wine with special qualities
80-84 A good solid, well-made wine
75–79 A mediocre wine, drinkable but may have minor flaws
50–74 Not recommended


Please note that the category Product Reviews contains more reviews of Chardonnay wines from the best regions in the world. More Napa Valley wine reviews here.


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