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1997 Chateau Montelena - Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
abv 14.0%
  • 98 WA
  • 95 WS
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 54555-1997-1500-2B
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    Good deep medium ruby. Very complex nose combines cassis, black cherry, plum, smoked meat, dark chocolate, Cuban tobacco and a hint of menthol. Youthfully unevolved and primary yet broad and pliant; offers impressive texture and stuffing for a young Montelena cabernet. Superripe hints of smoked meat and leather. Finishes with very lush tannins and strong dark berry flavor. The pH here is higher than average, an indication of the thorough ripeness of the vintage. The yield in this generous year was a reasonable 3.1 tons per acre, which Barrett described as huge. Still, this appears to be an outstanding vintage for this classic Napa cabernet.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2000
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 98

    There are 10,200 cases of the remarkable 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Opaque purple-colored with a dense, chewy, full-bodied personality, it displays abundant cassis, mineral, and earth notes. This brilliantly made, super-concentrated, pure, blockbuster possesses sweet tannin as well as a terrific finish. Having added additional weight since last year, this sumptuous, multilayered, profoundly concentrated Cabernet contains 14% alcohol. It is a candidate for 25-30 years of longevity.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 95

    This California Cab serves up lots of ripe, supple black cherry, currant and plum-laced flavors, as well as pretty touches of earth, anise and mineral. Turns smooth and supple, finishing with polished tannins. 11,700 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: Jimmy
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: gotwine
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: RDV
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Author: Jeremy S210
  • Self | Rating: 95

    A |wow| wine! Powerful & big with lots of fruit and tannin but great balance so that neither overwhelm. Extended finish! A great CA CAB. Reminds me of a great Bordeaux
    Drink Dates: 2006 - 2013
    Author: Todd W59
  • Self | Rating: 96

    BIG RICH FRUIT FORWARD. VERY COMPLEX AND ENJOYABLE.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2022
    Author: Karl L
  • Self | Rating:

    Excellent...drinking but has 5+ yrs
    Author: Peter B
  • Self | Rating: 94

    One of the better bottles I have had. A touch of brett, no corked flavor, still has plenty of fruit but showing age well.
    Author: Johnnymd
  • Self | Rating: 98

    One of the purest expressions of Cab I've had from CA. Stills has tons of life and fruit left in it. Excellent!
    Drink Dates: 2009-2020
    Author: CBS Wine
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Saving this bottle for almost 20 years and well, worth the wait! Superb Cali cab from a profound year.
    Author: Stephen G41
  • Self | Rating:

    Sold @ $150 to Norm
    Author: Jeff
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Surprisingly youthful. Blueberry and cassis on the nose and palate. Medium bodied, balanced and nice finish. This is the answer to critics of the 1997 California Cabernet Vintage.
    Drink Dates: 2007-2020
    Author: Conrad K
  • Self | Rating:

    this wine never ceases to be great - it is perfectly balanced and a joy to drink alone or with food
    Author: Steve
"This soars out of the ordinary." -TIME, June 7, 1976 (Judgement of Paris, tasting quote)

This quote embodies the dedication to quality and the consistently elegant, classical style Chateau Montelena has embraced since the early days. The current offerings continue to display adherence to that handcrafted heritage. One of the original "blue-chip" estates of Napa, its illustrious history began in 1882 when Alfred L. Tubbs struck a deal to purchase 254 acres of land at the base of Mount St. Helena, two miles north of Calistoga. "Montelena" is a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena.

The present renaissance of this legendary estate began in 1972 under the leadership of James Barrett. It was thrust into the limelight after the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 when its 1973 Chardonnay walked away from stunned French judges with 1st place in the Chardonnay category. The continuing top-ranking results are testimony to the efforts of James' son Beau, who has maintained the quality performance level since 1982.
Click here to listen to GrapeRadio's podcast about Ch. Montelena (Show #103, 46:36 min 21 MB)

See other similar producers:Krupp Brothers Estates,Silver Oak Cellars,Duckhorn Wine Company

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 4021 bottles owned
  • 682 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 96
    (Out of 682 collectors)