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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 1998

Winemaker's Notes:

Wine Advocate # 142 Aug 2002 Robert Parker 93 Drink 2002 - 2014 The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (13,000 cases) will disprove all the naysayers about how bad the vintage was in the North Coast. It possesses an opaque ruby/purple color, a gorgeous perfume of loamy soil, new saddle leather, chocolate, and black cherry and black currant fruit, full body, and ripe tannin in the finish. As it sits in the glass, notes of cedar and spice box also emerge. Although more evolved than most Montelena Cabernets are at age 4, there is no doubting that it will still provide considerable pleasure at age 15 or 16. Kudos to the Barretts for producing this impressive 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the vintage's few stars. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon remains one of California's most remarkable Cabernets. I have been following it since the early seventies, and even the most difficult vintages are still drinking beautifully. The home vineyard is so consistent that even in vintages such as 1989 and 1998, this wine is far better than its competition.

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: joshwoodward
129954234
4.50 5
05/15/2009

Massive nose, with plum, black berries and a generous helping of dung. Light fruit, lots of aged leather. Probably at peak, but not over the hill. Medium body, silky tannins, light-medium acidity. Licorace, mushrooms.


Snooth User: razmaspaz
28350227
4.00 5
10/07/2008

I tried this at the beginning of a vertical montelena tasting. It started out weak, but when I returned to it at the end of the tasting it was fantastic. It tasted like what I envision aged cab to taste like.


Snooth User: mhl
2815361
5.00 5
06/09/2007

Five glasses


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

External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

While it will not be released until 2002, the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exhibits an opaque, thick black/purple color, spectacular concentration, a multilayered mid-palate, the seamlessness of a great vintage, and a rich, jammy, concentrated finish. The powerful, gorgeously pure black fruits and unctuous texture suggest it will drink well young, yet be capable of 2-3 decades of effortless evolution.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Revealing sweeter tannin and a softer, riper, fuller-bodied style, the 2006 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a beautiful, classic wine with loads of berry fruit, an earthy character, and a spicy, pure, rich finish. The silkiness of the tannins suggest this 2006 will be drinkable in several years. It is another candidate for nearly two decades of aging. Chateau Montelena's sale to the owners of Bordeaux's well-known second-growth, Chateau Cos d'Estournel, fell through, no doubt because of the global economic crisis. It was unquestionably shocking that this Napa icon was on the block, and about to be sold to, of all people, the French, who Montelena had defeated in the famous Steven Spurrier tasting of 1976. Tasting through the wines with the ever reliable Bo Barrett is always a lesson in candor and honesty.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
11/09/2011

...It possesses an opaque ruby/purple color, a gorgeous perfume of loamy soil, new saddle leather, chocolate, and black cherry and black currant fruit, full body, and ripe tannin in the finish. As it sits in the glass, notes of cedar and spice box al... Robert Parkers Wine Advocate. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1998 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 750ml


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
09/27/2011

Montelena's backward, elegant, complex 2001 Estate reveals a dense ruby/purple color along with foresty, earthy notes intermixed with black currant characteristics as well as sweet tannin. Always a less ripe outlier (although it contains 14% natural alcohol), it will benefit from 2-3 more years of cellaring and should keep for at least 20 more years based on the extraordinary longevity Montelena Cabernet Sauvignons possess.


External Review
02/06/2009

The wine has the typical dark Montelena color and density in the glass. The ripe fruit comes across with big and spicy varietal characteristics, lots of cassis and earth. It is elegant from the moderated cool year, but also ripe from the warm end of


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Bright ruby. Knockout perfumed nose combines cassis, spices and violet. Sweet, fine and smooth, with lovely density and purity of dark fruit flavor. This offers enticing inner-palate perfume and is sure to be a popular vintage for this bottling. Finishes with substantial but very fine tannins that hit the palate late. My sample did not yet include the 2% or so of Cabernet Franc that's likely to be added to this cuvee.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Saturated, deep ruby-red. Deep aromas of blackberry, blueberry, violet and minerals; reminded me of a Pauillac. Silky on entry, then dense and sweet in the middle, conveying an impression of power. There's a youthfully medicinal quality to the dark berry and licorice flavors but unusual early sweetness and pliancy to this normally long-aging wine. Finishes with very suave tannins and impressive persistence. This is actually 14.3% alcohol, which is unusually high here. Barrett could only recall the 2004, 1994 and 1978 surpassing 14%.


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Wine Advocate # 142 Aug 2002 Robert Parker 93 Drink 2002 - 2014 The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (13,000 cases) will disprove all the naysayers about how bad the vintage was in the North Coast. It possesses an opaque ruby/purple color, a gorgeous perfume of loamy soil, new saddle leather, chocolate, and black cherry and black currant fruit, full body, and ripe tannin in the finish. As it sits in the glass, notes of cedar and spice box also emerge. Although more evolved than most Montelena Cabernets are at age 4, there is no doubting that it will still provide considerable pleasure at age 15 or 16. Kudos to the Barretts for producing this impressive 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the vintage's few stars. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon remains one of California's most remarkable Cabernets. I have been following it since the early seventies, and even the most difficult vintages are still drinking beautifully. The home vineyard is so consistent that even in vintages such as 1989 and 1998, this wine is far better than its competition.

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