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2002 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

abv 14.4%
  • 96 WA
  • 94 WS
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 54555-2002

This item is available by the case only


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  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    (bottled in November of 2004) Good deep ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose combines musky redcurrant and tobacco. Plush, broad and fine-grained; atypically sexy and showy for this wine, in much the same way that Montelena's basic 2002 Napa cabernet is unusually pliant and rich. Finishes with big, dusty, but rather suave tannins. This offers early accessibility but has the material and structure for extended aging. The alcohol here is 14.3%, the highest since the 1978, which was 14.4%.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2005
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 94

    Firm, intense and tough-edged, as Montelena often is early on, but with a solid core of spicy currant and blackberry fruit that's deep and concentrated. The finish keeps a tight focus.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    This appears to be one of the great efforts from Chateau Montelena, something I think I was correct about when I gave it an 'in the bottle' rating in 2006 of 95+. It is still an amazingly young wine that came from old vines on the famous St. George rootstock that did not require replanting because of the phylloxera epidemic that swept through Napa in the late 1980's and 1990's. Despite its lofty 14.4% alcohol (high by Montelena standards) and the overall flamboyance of the 2002 vintage, it needs another 4-6 years of cellaring. This young, classic Cabernet Sauvignon represents the quintessential traditional school of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses an inky/blue/purple color in addition to a tight, but promising nose of black currants, crushed rocks, earth and spice. Rich, full-bodied, pure and brilliantly executed, with perfect harmony, this is a sensational yet forebodingly backward, youthful Cabernet Sauvignon that needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep another quarter of a century.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Drink Dates: 2011-2036
    Author: Chris Ahearn
  • Self | Rating: 89

    Author: KMS
  • Self | Rating: 90

    Author: Pierre T184
  • Self | Rating: 91

    Author: gotwine
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: Stephen G41
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: noelivan
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: WFP II
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: Husker74
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Drink Dates: 2010-2020
    Author: CBS Wine
  • Self | Rating: 92

    2 hours decanted. Superb. Served at wedding reception.
    Author: rbbelzer
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Big, bold and beautiful wine. Bursts with dark fruit early and finishes wonderfully with more subtle earthy flavors. An amazing bottle.
    Author: cfluehr
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Classic Monty, bit young but cioming into the window
    Author: Patrick
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Fantastic wine. Had tons of life on it. Very well made and refined. Has 10 more years easy maybe 20.
    Author: Lellman2
  • Self | Rating: 96

    For the lord's b-day, and a good excuse to drink wine, we had the 02 Montelena Estate, the 05 Quilceda Creek Cabernet and the 07 Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard. A big ask, given that there were 3.5 drinkers, but we persevered. First, let me say all three were terrific. Out of the bottle, with about 30 minutes of decanting, the Montelena had more finesse and was more delicate. Between the Quilceda's, the Galitzine was bitter. I opened both about 2.5 hours before we started drinking. At four hours, both seemed to be getting better. Trend, by all, is that as we moved into food (roast, m&c, and veggies ' big stuff), all the wines were terrific. Not a hint of age on any. Great night for wine. Going 96 across the board, would be difficult for me to favor one over another. Thank you, baby Jesus.
    Author: Charley
  • Self | Rating: 90

    good drinking now/2016. rich structure. good depth and color. drink within 5 yrs
    Drink Dates: 2016
    Author: TJR1
  • Self | Rating: 94

    gorgeous ruby red, beautiful nose of big berries and graphite, well integrated tannins with a long finish
    Drink Dates: 2014-2025
    Author: David 429
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Nice dark fruit and spice notes. Well balanced now, but took some time to fully open up. I will give the magnum some more time to marinate.
    Author: ChrisMus
"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

  • 3428 bottles owned
  • 542 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 93
    (Out of 542 collectors)