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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 1992

Winemaker's Notes:

95 points - Robert Parker"When I think back to the top California Cabernet Sauvignon wineriestwenty-two years ago (1973), it is shocking to see how many of thefinest wineries in 1973 have fallen behind today's leading Cabernetproducers. For example, Beaulieu, Heitz, Inglenook, Mayacamas, andFreemark Abby were undisputed leaders in the early seventies, but in1995, they have been surpassed by thirty or forty other producers. Ican think of only three wineries that were making fabulous CabernetSauvignons in 1973 that have continued to produce great wines, with noqualitative slumps through 1995 - Caymus Vineyard, Ridge, and ChateauMontelena. Because Chateau Montelena is "old" by California standards,it is easy to overlook the extraordinary wines produced by Jim Barrettand his son, Bo. Remarkably, there is not a bad vintage of ChateauMontelena Cabernet Sauvignon to be found. While hitting the peaks intop years, this winery makes fine Cabernets in vintages where otherproducers flounder. A recent example of this is the 1989 EstateCabernet, a superb wine that continues to languish on the shelves ofretailers. For that reason, an invitation to a vertical tasting ofChateau Montelena's estate Cabernet is one of the most exciting ticketsin town.The new vintages of Montelena continue to reflect the fact that thiswinery has never lost sight of its goal - to make All-American,super-concentrated wines from physiologically ripe fruit. The onlychange to the Montelena style (a subtle one) has been the movementtoward riper, sweeter, more integrated tannin since 1991. The new andup-coming releases are once again top flight, exceptional wines thatmake Chateau Montelena the Cal Ripken of Cabernet producers. They havebeen consistently excellent over an unprecedented period of time - byCalifornia standards.The up-coming releases of the estate Cabernet Sauvignon (10,000-12,000cases) are all outstanding wines. Personal preference will dictatewhich Cabernet Sauvignon readers will prefer. They all possess thetell-tale Montelena house style - huge fruit, massive body, greatcolor, and fabulous ripeness. The 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate isslightly richer than the 1993. There is an extra line on its labelhonoring Chateau Montelena's 20th Cabernet Sauvignon vintage(1972-1992). The wine's opaque ruby/purple color is followed by asweet, jammy nose of black fruit and minerals, huge body, a sweetinner-core of ripe fruit, and a long, low acid, opulent finish. Richand full, this Cabernet is destined for 20+ years of gorgeous drinking." - Robert Parker

Chateau Montelena Winery:
Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He'd heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mo... Read more
Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He'd heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose – perfect for the vine cuttings he would plant. It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, christened Chateau Montelena (a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena), was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. The next chapter began with the renaissance of Chateau Montelena Winery and the Estate vineyard. Under the leadership of Jim Barrett, the vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the Chateau outfitted with modern winemaking equipment. He assembled a team to oversee the vineyard and winemaking, then grew and contracted for the highest-quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972 wines were made for the first time. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim Barrett at the helm. The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Montelena Estate Zinfandel are grown in one of the world's most unique winegrowing properties. The Estate vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. The vineyard gently slopes downward towards its base, where a small patch of sedimentary soil was deposited by the settling of an ancient ocean or lake. Read less

Editorial Reviews for Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065217,191
4.00 5
05/14/2013

A bit dull on the nose with a hint of celery under lots of toasty spices, notes of burnt marshmallow and subtle black fruits. In the mouth this is intense and focused, and far fresher than one would guess from the nose. There's big fruit paired with big oak here, a little thick and astringent across the palate. This has a bit of a coarse edge to the rather long finish, but should still improve with time in the cellar. 91 points


External Reviews for Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate

External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
03/13/2009

This opaque purple-colored wine exhibits sweet, jammy fruit that recalls Chateau Montelena's flashy 1984. Opaquely-colored, with exceptional richness, length, and an expansive, chewy texture, it should provide accessibility young, but keep for 15 or... Robert Parker. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1992 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 750ml


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
09/30/2010

Firmly tannic, dark in color, with lively, chewy tannins wrapped around a solid core of earthy currant, anise, mineral and sage flavors. Classic Montelena in its structure and austerity, though not as complex as the best from this Napa estate.--'92 C... Wine Spectator. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1992 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 750ml



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95 points - Robert Parker"When I think back to the top California Cabernet Sauvignon wineriestwenty-two years ago (1973), it is shocking to see how many of thefinest wineries in 1973 have fallen behind today's leading Cabernetproducers. For example, Beaulieu, Heitz, Inglenook, Mayacamas, andFreemark Abby were undisputed leaders in the early seventies, but in1995, they have been surpassed by thirty or forty other producers. Ican think of only three wineries that were making fabulous CabernetSauvignons in 1973 that have continued to produce great wines, with noqualitative slumps through 1995 - Caymus Vineyard, Ridge, and ChateauMontelena. Because Chateau Montelena is "old" by California standards,it is easy to overlook the extraordinary wines produced by Jim Barrettand his son, Bo. Remarkably, there is not a bad vintage of ChateauMontelena Cabernet Sauvignon to be found. While hitting the peaks intop years, this winery makes fine Cabernets in vintages where otherproducers flounder. A recent example of this is the 1989 EstateCabernet, a superb wine that continues to languish on the shelves ofretailers. For that reason, an invitation to a vertical tasting ofChateau Montelena's estate Cabernet is one of the most exciting ticketsin town.The new vintages of Montelena continue to reflect the fact that thiswinery has never lost sight of its goal - to make All-American,super-concentrated wines from physiologically ripe fruit. The onlychange to the Montelena style (a subtle one) has been the movementtoward riper, sweeter, more integrated tannin since 1991. The new andup-coming releases are once again top flight, exceptional wines thatmake Chateau Montelena the Cal Ripken of Cabernet producers. They havebeen consistently excellent over an unprecedented period of time - byCalifornia standards.The up-coming releases of the estate Cabernet Sauvignon (10,000-12,000cases) are all outstanding wines. Personal preference will dictatewhich Cabernet Sauvignon readers will prefer. They all possess thetell-tale Montelena house style - huge fruit, massive body, greatcolor, and fabulous ripeness. The 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate isslightly richer than the 1993. There is an extra line on its labelhonoring Chateau Montelena's 20th Cabernet Sauvignon vintage(1972-1992). The wine's opaque ruby/purple color is followed by asweet, jammy nose of black fruit and minerals, huge body, a sweetinner-core of ripe fruit, and a long, low acid, opulent finish. Richand full, this Cabernet is destined for 20+ years of gorgeous drinking." - Robert Parker

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