Founded in 1871, El Molino was one of the first wineries in the Napa Valley. Operated until Prohibition and restored in 1981, conditions are ideal for the limited production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The label is the original design introduced in 1871, displaying the Bale Mill, or “El Molino.” The grapes are grown at the family vineyard in Rutherford where the Chardonnay was planted in 1978 and the first Pinot Noir block in 1991.
The 2018 vintage saw only 850 cases produced using grape clones Wente IV, 1978, and 1991. It displays pale gold, with a green rim in the glass. A lovely nose of Meyer lemon, grapefruit zest, ginger, and fresh pineapple. On the palate, a delightfully broad entry leads to a conscious and rich midpalate with lovely weight. All of the richness is framed by fresh acids that complement the texture. Pineapple and Asian pears dominate the flavor profile, echoing on a long persistent finish. Such a delicious drinking wine now but restraint will be required if you are to realize the potential of the 2018 Chardonnay until 2030