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  • WS: 82

    Wine Spectator Score

    82

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  • WA: 85

    Wine Advocate Score

    85

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  • ST: 80

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    91(+?)

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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 1995

Winemaker's Notes:

In the glass it has one of the most intense, aromatic noses ever for a young Montelena Cab. To me, metaphorically at least, the bouquet boils out of the glass like a punch in the nose. Usually it takes a bit more bottle age to develop this intensity, and it will continue to evolve in the future. With our signature inky color and awesome bouquet it is complex and absolutely typical of Chateau Montelena, boasting our unique earthy-berry characteristics and hints of rich, tonal black tea. As it should be, the palate is equally attention getting. It is very rich and bold, almost too complex to simply describe, but since you are trying to read this instead of drinking a glass I'll try. It rolls across the palate with waves of cassis-berry, smoke, earth and spice. It is very classic in weight and balance, sort of a Bordeaux framework with California richness and big fruit. It has great tannin balance, big yet supple ripe tannins - very clearly a well executed great vintage from a great vineyard. As far as ageability we see a huge potential and it will easily go 20 years, it's that loaded with fruit and well balanced. As you can tell we think we did a good job on this one and hope you will too.

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

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

Add your review
Snooth User: Mike Pobega
125081448
3.50 5
02/25/2009

Hmmmm. This was a bit cooler to start so the initial thoughts were...well.... initial. Subdued, reticent and closed. Put aside for a bit.Great medium color with some bricking on the edges. Some currant and black fruits were coming through. A little awkward and clumsy. It never really came around. A perfectly sound but was a bit disappointing all around.


Snooth User: mhl
2815361
4.00 5
06/09/2007

Four glasses


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

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
10/22/2014

Good intensity, richness and concentration, with a core of pear, citrus, nectarine, anise and fig, picking up a leafy, earthy flavor on the finish. Has a track record for improving with age, so set a couple bottles aside for 2000 and beyond; best from 1999 through 2004.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
10/22/2014

Bright yellow gold. Medium-bodied. Highly extracted. Solid backbone with focused stone fruit and citrus flavors through the finish.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
10/22/2014

Pure, elegant, with perfect balance.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
10/22/2014

Clean and fairly straightforward with hints of sweet lime and minerally tones… Firm, refined… the flavors offer green apples and citrus fruit qualities along with subtle oak…


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
09/22/2010

...Brighter aromas of black cherry, pepper, chocolate and fresh herbs. Sweet and lush, if not quite as fat as the '96. A note of humus adds complexity. Finishes with fresh cassis and cherry flavors... Stephen Tanzer's IWC. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1995 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 750ml


External Review
04/28/2010

At the winery, I rated the 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate one point below what I gave it in the blind tasting. Nevertheless, my notes on both tastings are nearly identical. This is another winery where the 1995 may be as strong as the 1994. The color is an opaque purple. The wine is full-bodied and powerful, with classic notes of cassis intermixed with loamy soil scents, underbrush, and spice. There is massive body and elevated, but sweet tannin that is well-integrated with the wine's other components, a blockbuster mid-palate, and a finish that lasts for 30+ seconds. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2025.



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In the glass it has one of the most intense, aromatic noses ever for a young Montelena Cab. To me, metaphorically at least, the bouquet boils out of the glass like a punch in the nose. Usually it takes a bit more bottle age to develop this intensity, and it will continue to evolve in the future. With our signature inky color and awesome bouquet it is complex and absolutely typical of Chateau Montelena, boasting our unique earthy-berry characteristics and hints of rich, tonal black tea. As it should be, the palate is equally attention getting. It is very rich and bold, almost too complex to simply describe, but since you are trying to read this instead of drinking a glass I'll try. It rolls across the palate with waves of cassis-berry, smoke, earth and spice. It is very classic in weight and balance, sort of a Bordeaux framework with California richness and big fruit. It has great tannin balance, big yet supple ripe tannins - very clearly a well executed great vintage from a great vineyard. As far as ageability we see a huge potential and it will easily go 20 years, it's that loaded with fruit and well balanced. As you can tell we think we did a good job on this one and hope you will too.

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