International Wine Cellar | Rating: 88($52) Good deep red-ruby. Black fruits, licorice and exotic spices on the somewhat medicinal, uncompromising nose. Then sweeter in the mouth than the nose suggests, with dark berry, licorice and mint flavors joined by tobacco and graphite. Not complex but finishes with good lift and length-and not at all cooked.Author: Stephen TanzerIssue: May/June 2009
Wine Advocate | Rating: 87The soft, round 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa possesses good berry fruit, seductive tannins, and minimal depth. It represents a very fine glass of Cabernet for enjoying over the next 6-7 years.Drink Dates: 2008-2015Author: Robert Parker
Self | Rating: 90Author: Jack and Cheryl
Self | Rating: 90Author: rediscovery
Self | Rating: 92Dry, earth and gravel. A great steak wine.Author: bob1001
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 , , , and 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. and 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.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the and in , and and in .
The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.
Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with , which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this . These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. producers such as , , and consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.
New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like , , and .
All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 236 bottles owned
- 70 collectors
- Average collector rating: 91
(Out of 70 collectors)