• RP: 90

    Robert Parker Score

    90

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  • ST: 93

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    93

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  • WA: 80

    Wine Advocate Score

    (90-92)

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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley the Montelena Estate 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

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.

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: John Andrews
361063,418
3.50 5
01/09/2009

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.


Snooth User: Adam Levin
772801,757
4.00 5
01/08/2009

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.


4.00 5
06/29/2009

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.


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,198
4.50 5
05/17/2013

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


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,198
4.50 5
09/21/2009

Tasted at the winery 9/20/09.


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,198
4.50 5
09/21/2009

86% cabernet sauv with touches of merlot and cab franc. Delicious, luscious and decadent wine. -Tasted at the winery 9/290/09


Snooth User: zinfandel1
1546601,040
3.50 5
07/02/2012

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.

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

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

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
05/18/2011

Good full ruby. Very pure flavors of cassis, blackberry and licorice. Dense, rich and pure, with quintessential cabernet flavors of cassis and licorice. Like a finer-grained, fleshier version of the classic but tightly wound 2001. As rich as it is, this also boasts terrific inner-palate energy. Carries a distinctly moderate 13.8% alcohol. Finishes with big but ripe tannins and superb length. This should age for 15 to 20 years.


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

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.


External Review
04/12/2011

92 Points - Robert ParkerThe mild and uneventful 2005 vintage presented ideal ripening weather. We anticipated optimal crop yields, juice quality, fruit flavors and chemistry. And because this overa


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

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.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

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
05/18/2011

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.


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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.

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