Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 2005
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (an 8600-case cuvee made from yields of 1.98 tons of fruit per acre) is considered to be one of the great California wine producers. The wine boasts a saturated inky/purple color as well as extraordinary density of fruit and cassis and huge tannin body and extract. It is a substantial palate-staining long muscular Cabernet that should only be purchased by connoisseurs with cold cellars as well as patience. 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.
Very surprised by this wine. After reading a lot of neutral and some negative press about Chateau Montelena I didn't expect much. This wine was quite good. It had very good balance with a long finish, fine tannins and decent acidity. It was very expressive wine and not one that meets 'classical' definitions.
A beautiful classic Bordeaux style cab from Napa Valley. This is not a museum piece, but a very drinkable, food-friendly wine to enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this. Great restrained style with good fruit and balance.
Opens up with good dark blackberry fruit and a bit of spice and ripe black cherry. Has a fresh, spiced palate with bunches of blackberries, medium to high acid, medium tannin, with clove, chocolate and molasses mingling on the finish.
Rich red, pretty and feminine style fruit on the nose. Sweet red berries fill the aromas in addition to nice floral notes. Fruit forward in style as age has relaxed the tannin and acid a bit. Luscious and rich, dominated by red fruit. Raspberry, currant and cherry flavors with nice vanilla influence. Soft, rounded tannins. It's in a lovely drinking window right now. 93 pts. 5/9/13
Tasted at the winery 9/20/09.
86% cabernet sauv with touches of merlot and cab franc. Delicious, luscious and decadent wine. -Tasted at the winery 9/290/09
Had this 2005 2 years ago at my annual cabernet tasting. It was more Bordeau like in its structure. The nose was not very big. Once tasted, there was so many wonderful things going on. Dark fruit, cassis, vanilla, a hint of bitter chocolate or cocoa, with soft tannins gently tugging here and there. My only let down was the somewhat short finish. With all that was going on in my mouth, I would have expected long finish. All in all a great wine.
External Reviews for Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate
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.
Very saturated deep ruby color. Vibrant aromas of black cherry, redcurrant, tobacco and tar; has great snap and freshness. Silky-sweet and velvety in the mouth but with terrific vinosity. Given shape by a firm tannin spice, yet somehow seamless. An explosion of red berries in the mouth and on the aftertaste. Finishes with great sweetness and thoroughly suave tannins. A brilliant showing for this wine. Barrett says the '97 promises to have the same size as the '91.
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.
Good deep ruby-red. Complex aromas of currant, licorice, graphite, bitter chocolate, smoked meat, tobacco and brown spices. Began juicy, penetrating and quite youthfully unevolved, but aeration brought a suppler, rounder texture and more generosity to this impressively structured wine. Complicating notes of bitter cherry, menthol and minerals. This will require a good eight to ten years of aging but the substantial tannins are sweet and lush. Very long, pure and powerful on the finish.
A classic Napa Valley Cabernet, the '96 Montelena makes a succinct and supple statement, then expands on it to juicy and delicious depths. The aroma is bright and clean, balancing scents of black currants and lead pencil. Then it builds on the palate with a powerful intensity, a full-bore ripeness without excess weight. In fact, there's nothing extraneous, nothing to get in the way of the beauty of the wine itself, round as a dark plum, juicy as a currant. The elegant expression lasts on the palate; long after swallowing, the juiciness keeps emerging out if the tannin. More of the wine will emerge as it ages, though it is already a satisfying match for a juicy veal chop.
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.
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.