• SN: 91

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    15

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    94

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    Wine Advocate Score

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  • ST: 80

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    92-95

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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 1999

Winemaker's Notes:

"Very young, huge wine with lots of tannin, cherries and blackberries. Would be beter in 15 years. Good bot not worth the heavy price tag. "

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
89065222,083
4.50 5
06/01/2009

This is very young and still heavily marked by oak on the nose with a fudgy quality that detracts from the rich, jammy fruit. In the mouth this has great balance with good mineral cut on the finish but the wood intrudes here as well offering a bit of bitter tannin on the finale that needs several years to resolve itself. Nothing wrong here just too young. Give this another 5 years or so and it should reveal much better definition to the fruit. 91pts.


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

Sweeter, fruitier nose, with a touch of White Out. Still massive. Red+ fruit, riper. Medium tannins, acidic, medium+ body. Relatively simple. Tastes very new.


Snooth User: sufdog420
30649950
5.00 5
11/21/2009

This is a complex slow opening wine. When it opens it is one of the best California Cabs I have tasted. The casis releases and fills the nose with a hint of tobacco. Very memorable for those who like a Cab with some Character.


Snooth User: Liquidlife
1474798
4.50 5
03/07/2009

One of the best cabs I've ever had


Snooth User: mhl
2815361
3.00 5
06/09/2007

Three glasses


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

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

There are 10,200 cases of the remarkable 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Opaque purple-colored with a dense, chewy, full-bodied personality, it displays abundant cassis, mineral, and earth notes. This brilliantly made, super-concentrated, pure, blockbuster possesses sweet tannin as well as a terrific finish. Having added additional weight since last year, this sumptuous, multilayered, profoundly concentrated Cabernet contains 14% alcohol. It is a candidate for 25-30 years of longevity. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

By the standards of Bo and Jim Barrett, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (14.4% alcohol) is a relatively flamboyant effort. Its opaque purple color is followed by a gloriously pure nose of creme de cassis, licorice, earth, truffles, and flowers. Full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with high tannin as well as concentration, it is somewhat accessible, but will be even better after 4-6 years of bottle age. It should drink beautifully for 25-30 years.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Good deep medium ruby. Very complex nose combines cassis, black cherry, plum, smoked meat, dark chocolate, Cuban tobacco and a hint of menthol. Youthfully unevolved and primary yet broad and pliant; offers impressive texture and stuffing for a young Montelena cabernet. Superripe hints of smoked meat and leather. Finishes with very lush tannins and strong dark berry flavor. The pH here is higher than average, an indication of the thorough ripeness of the vintage. The yield in this generous year was a reasonable 3.1 tons per acre, which Barrett described as huge. Still, this appears to be an outstanding vintage for this classic Napa cabernet.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

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%.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

Good full, bright ruby color. High-toned, slightly sauvage aromas of exotic, liqueur-like berries, bitter chocolate, game and menthol; shows a distinctly candied aspect. Then superripe and very concentrated in the mouth, with slightly medicinal flavors of kirsch, chocolate and menthol. A bit drier and less suave in the middle palate than the 2001, and quite tannic today, in the style of so many 2002s. This will undoubtedly be filtered, noted Zacherle.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, one of the most powerful Cabernets the Barretts have made, is reminiscent of the profound 1987. A blend of 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, it tips the scales at 14.3% alcohol. The wine has a sensational nose of sweet creme de cassis liqueur intermixed with notes of beef blood, licorice, and underbrush. Full-bodied and more flamboyant than the more structured, muscular 2001, the 2002 is fleshier with more glycerin and higher alcohol. This chewy effort should be ready for prime-time drinking a few years ahead of the more rigid 2001. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/23/2011

The powerful, concentrated 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (14.3% alcohol) exhibits aromas of black currant jam, tar, smoke, and forest floor. This opulent, rich 2003, while less flamboyant than the extroverted 2002, is deep, chewy, pure, and well-delineated. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025+.


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"Very young, huge wine with lots of tannin, cherries and blackberries. Would be beter in 15 years. Good bot not worth the heavy price tag. "

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