Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Sr. Family Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley 2021

Pale gold color; yellow apple, lemon zest, pineapple, pear, peach, starfruit, oak, butter on the nose and palate.

Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Sr. Family Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley 2021

Dry; no tannins, good acidity. Medium-plus body. Nice citrus tang. Delivers elegance and finesse, particularly for large production wine and wine at this price point. Oak and malolactic notes, but not overdone. Some 50 percent of the wine spent time in French oak and aged sur-lie. 14.3% ABV

Charles Krug is the oldest wine estate in the Napa Valley. German-born (Prussia) Charles Krug established the winery in 1861. He came to the U.S. in 1847 and became a citizen in 1852. He served apprenticeships at two wineries before starting his own. Marriage helped. In 1860, he married Carolina Bale, daughter of Napa Valley pioneer Edward Turner Bale, a miller. She also was the granddaughter of Maria Isidora Vallejo of the prominent Vallejo family.

Part of Bale’s dowry to the couple included 540 acres of land north of St. Helena. Krug planted a vineyard there and started what is now California’s oldest winery. James Moffitt purchased the winery in 1894 from the Krug estate. In 1943, Robert Mondavi convinced his parents, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, to purchase the inactive winery from Moffitt. Robert began his career there, along with his younger brother, Peter. Robert eventually left to create his famous brand in 1966, while Peter’s descendants—his sons Peter Jr. and Marc continue to own and operate Charles Krug.

Charles Krug winery vintage photo
Charles Krug Redwood Cellar Hospitality Center

Today, Charles Krug Winery owns 850 prime Napa Valley acres from Carneros to Howell Mountain. Five hundred of those acres are sustainably farmed vineyards. Acclaimed winemaker Stacy Clark joined Charles Krug in 2011. She is noted for seeking balanced, restrained wines. This offering reflects that style, with a veer to approachability rather than insistence.

Charles Krug vineyard

The winery, with its 150-year-old iconic buildings, is a prime attraction in Napa. In 2013, they opened the restored, renovated Redwood Cedar Tasting Room and Hospitality Center, originally built in 1872. The center added a trattoria in 2014; it serves grilled panini and other Italian specialties.

Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Sr. Family Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley 2021 is a popular, versatile mainstay from Krug, a fabled Napa maker. Nice balance of ripe fruit, oak, butter notes with heft in the body to complement many foods. Smooth and tasty. Wide distribution. Pair with rich fish—salmon, tuna; pork dishes, not barbecued; chicken; vegetarian fare. Cheese—semi-soft, triple-cream, or nutty-fruity cheeses; brie, camembert, gouda, gruyere, cheddar, roquefort, ricotta. $20-25

Charles Krug website

Charles Krug winery
Charles Krug Redwood Cellar tasting room
Charles Krug tasting-tribute room
Charles Krug barrel room
Charles Krug vineyard
Charles Krug harvest
Charles Krug harvest
Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Jr.
Charles Krug winemaker Stacy Clark