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In Vino Felicitas "Brioche" Chardonnay 2021

In Vino Felicitas "Brioche" Chardonnay 2021


Regular price $21.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $21.99 USD
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  • Tasting Notes

    The 2021 Brioche California Chardonnay is a delightful expression of the varietal, offering a rich tapestry of aromas and flavors. On the nose, creamy vanilla cream and butterscotch mingle with tropical notes of caramelized pineapple and cooked peaches, reminiscent of peach pie. The palate is medium-bodied, showcasing baked pear and toasty French oak, leading to a lingering finish accented by hints of vanilla.

  • Story

    Anna Monticelli and her husband Mario Monticelli are the driving forces behind a diverse portfolio of wines that reflect their deep-rooted passion and extensive experience in the winemaking world. Anna's journey began with a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California Davis, followed by formative experiences in France, including a stint at Château Cheval-Blanc under the guidance of viticultural expert Kees Van Leeuwen. In Napa Valley, Anna honed her skills as assistant winemaker at Seavey Vineyard and Bryant Family Vineyard before taking the helm at Piña Napa Valley. Together with Mario, they produce a range of wines under labels like Stack House, Tether, Brioche, and No Brainer in Napa Valley. Their dedication extends beyond California, with winemaking projects in Italy's Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions, as well as ventures in Champagne and The Rhone Valley in France, where they travel with their three children to oversee their European endeavors.

    Mario Monticelli's winemaking heritage spans generations, instilled in him by his father, who spent over 50 years crafting wines for Gallo. Mario's formal education in Viticulture, Enology, and Italian from the University of California Davis laid the foundation for a career that has taken him from Tuscany's Villa Antinori to the cellars of Philippe Melka in Napa Valley. Mario's expertise flourished during his tenure at Quixote Winery and Trinchero Napa Valley before he transitioned to consultancy work and focused on their joint projects. With a deep familial connection to winemaking and a wealth of experience in both Old and New World wine regions, Mario brings a rich understanding of terroir and tradition to the Monticelli winemaking legacy.

  • Somm Notes

    Chardonnay's ascent to prominence in California mirrors its rise to become the nation's favorite white wine grape. With its versatility and appeal to a wide range of palates, Chardonnay has consistently topped sales charts, maintaining its status as the leading varietal wine in the United States for over a decade. Its classic flavor profile, featuring notes of green apple, fig, and citrus, alongside a medium-to-full body, complex aroma, and moderate acidity, has captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts nationwide. Traditionally aged in oak to impart vanilla and toast nuances, California winemakers have adapted to evolving consumer preferences, crafting more nuanced and balanced expressions, including subtly oaked and unoaked versions, in recent years.

    Despite its current dominance, Chardonnay's journey in California traces back to humble beginnings in the late 1800s. Historical records indicate early plantings, albeit limited, with notable vineyards in the Livermore Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains. However, the dark shadow of Prohibition cast a pall over Chardonnay's potential, leading to the uprooting of many vineyards in favor of varieties better suited for transportation. It wasn't until the 1970s, spurred by a resurgence in demand, that Chardonnay experienced a renaissance, with vineyard plantings proliferating across California's diverse wine regions. Today, the legacy of California Chardonnay stands as a testament to its enduring appeal and the resilience of the winemakers who have nurtured its growth through changing times and tastes.

    Always a great value, the 2021 Chardonnay sports a lighter gold hue to go with exotic, slightly richer aromatics of honeyed apples, orange blossom, and hints of toasted nuts, with a kiss of background oak. Pure, medium-bodied, and nicely textured on the palate, it has terrific richness as well as length. It’s a smoking value well worth seeking out.


    The 2021 Brioche Chardonnay features flamboyant notes of apple butter, spice
    cake, and almond croissant, leading with touches of ginger and paraffin wax.
    Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a lot of flavor impact at this price point, with a lovely satiny texture and a spicy finish.

  • Region

    California's diverse terroir plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of its Chardonnay grapes and wines. From the cool, coastal regions of Sonoma Coast and Santa Barbara County to the warmer inland areas like Napa Valley and Paso Robles, each wine region offers unique environmental influences that contribute to the final product. In regions like Sonoma Coast, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean brings cooling maritime breezes and fog, creating ideal conditions for slow ripening and preserving the grape's natural acidity. This results in Chardonnays with vibrant fruit flavors, crisp acidity, and elegant minerality. Conversely, in warmer regions such as Napa Valley, the sun-drenched vineyards produce riper fruit with richer texture and bolder flavors, often complemented by judicious oak aging.

    The diversity of California's terroir allows winemakers to craft a wide spectrum of Chardonnay styles, ranging from lean and mineral-driven to opulent and creamy. Sonoma's Russian River Valley, known for its foggy mornings and sunny afternoons, produces Chardonnays with ripe stone fruit flavors, balanced by bright acidity and a silky texture. Meanwhile, the rugged terrain of Santa Cruz Mountains yields Chardonnays with pronounced minerality and lively acidity, reflecting the region's rocky soils and cool climate. Whether it's the iconic appellations of Napa Valley or the emerging regions of Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Rita Hills, California's diverse terroir ensures that there's a Chardonnay to suit every palate preference and occasion.