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  • WS: 69

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Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley 2001

Winemaker's Notes:

We anticipated optimal crop yields, juice quality, fruit flavors and chemistry. And because this overall weather pattern essentially extended the growing season, we began harvest much later than average. But once we finally ripped into the red grapes there was a massive “tsunami” of them: Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot! A solid and steady picking schedule, with a daily crush of 13 to 40 tons, continued for 18 days. It was an awesome period of ideal weather and harvest activity, during which we took in an amazing 473 tons of fruit.

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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 Chardonnay Napa Valley

Add your review
Snooth User: JonDerry
6804463,180
3.00 5
10/17/2011

Good cherry, earth, and tovacco notes, but not showing much energy ten years later. Would recommend drinking now on this.


Snooth User: 97mjr
339902,159
0.00 5
03/04/2009

[PWJGT] Cassis, red fruit, just shy of being notable; but solid QPR **


Snooth User: jfvalenti
3626375
0.00 5
01/25/2010

Good, dry with light cinnamon and berry flavors. Short, enjoyable finish.


External Reviews for Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley

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

The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from their old vineyards in Calistoga. This is a dense, ruby/purple-tinged wine with full body, and despite the softness of the general vintage, Montelena has plenty of structure. Like nearly every vintage of their top Cabernet Sauvignon, it will last for 25 or more years. The wine has sweet tannin in a broad, flavorful, concentrated style with plenty of black currant, licorice, and spice. The wine is beautifully textured, slightly more forward than most Montelena Cabernets tend to be. It is another beauty from probably the most consistent winery for Cabernet Sauvignon over the last three decades.


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

Complex nose on this dark ruby red from one of California's most renowned producers. Deep, swirling layers of black berry fruit, licorice and cedar reveal themselves on a chewy, muscular frame. Stylistically, it's more aligned with ageworthy Bordeaux than with the immediate appeal of fruit-forward Cabernets. An underrated vintage that is showing off some excellent wines.


External Review
01/17/2009

Wine Advocate ReviewThe 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is one of Bo Barretts finest efforts. While tightly knit, 24 hours of aeration reveals its upside potential. Dense ruby/purple with a nose of crushed rocks intermixed with creme de cassis and a hint of licorice, this full-bodied, pure, deep offering will be at its peak between 2010-2025.


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

The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a remarkably rich but still backward red. It will benefit from 5-8 more years of cellaring, and should last for three decades. The full-bodied, intense, dense ruby/purple-colored 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate reveals a closed, reticent bouquet of minerals, crème de cassis, and spice. This rich, full-bodied effort should be going strong 20-30 years from now.


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

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+.


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

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.


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We anticipated optimal crop yields, juice quality, fruit flavors and chemistry. And because this overall weather pattern essentially extended the growing season, we began harvest much later than average. But once we finally ripped into the red grapes there was a massive “tsunami” of them: Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot! A solid and steady picking schedule, with a daily crush of 13 to 40 tons, continued for 18 days. It was an awesome period of ideal weather and harvest activity, during which we took in an amazing 473 tons of fruit.

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