• WA: 70

    Wine Advocate Score

    (88-90)

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  • ST: 80

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    90(+?)

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  • WS: 72

    Wine Spectator Score

    72

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Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Winemaker's Notes:

In the glass our 2002 has a dark, inky-purple color, saturated to the edge. It has a pronounced aromatic bouquet of luxurious pure ripe fruit, cassis and earth. The wine's diverse, complex and powerful flavor profile - with ripe cassis, blackberry, and black cherry flavors supported by hints of tar and earth - prove that the painstaking and slow process of partial row harvesting was well worth the effort. The tiny Cabernet berries yielded from the vineyard's dry soils produced powerful yet silky tannins and a refreshing backbone of acidity which, combined with its bold structure and rich flavors, infused it with plenty of power to age for a long while. The wine is elegant, showy and polished, with plenty of body and plush ripeness. We think you can enjoy the powerful, vibrant fruit now by opening a few bottles, and then wait a couple years for the concentrated, distinctive Montelena character to evolve before opening the rest.

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4.07 5 0.5
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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
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Coconut Rice Sweet Potato Cheesecake

RiceSelect's creamy Arborio gets blended with sweet potato, coconut milk and vanilla to create this decadent cheesecake. Pairs well with Saunternes; a white dessert wine that has hints of coconut from aging in oak barrels.

View Recipe

Member Reviews for Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Add your review
Snooth User: steve16046
1085122827
3.00 5
06/03/2012

Pours a nice violet color with some light reddish rusty hues on the edges. Aromas of rich red berries and some dark cherries. Starts off very fruit forward. Raspberries and cherry flavor dominate the palate. In the middle there is some nice vanilla undertones and some leather. Finishes with more red fruit. A medium to full bodied wine, this seems to be aging 'well'. The tannins are quite subdued. I think my expectations of this wine got the best of me, it is tasty, but not quite what I was hoping/expecting.


External Reviews for Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

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
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
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

The flagship wine, the 2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a lovely perfume of fresh herbs, loamy soil, black cherries, and black currants. Spicy and very Bordeaux-like in this vintage, with high tannins, a cool climate freshness, and a leaner personality than is found in riper vintages, it will benefit from 1-2 years of cellaring, and should drink well for two decades or more.


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

Quite rich and exotic, with complex, appealing flavors of cocoa puff, mocha, buttered cinnamon toast, blackberry granola and smoky cedar. This richness finishes drily, but the wine is very tannic, giving it a lockdown astringency. Needs time. Best after 2011 through 2015 or so.


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

Bright medium ruby. Medicinal aromas of crushed cassis, blackberry syrup, bitter chocolate and licorice; I might have picked this as Latour from the nose. Then almost surprisingly sweet and silky in the mouth; comes across as more pliant than the 2004 but with more acidity. This demonstrates less obvious concentration and power but boasts lovely balance and aromatic persistence. With less of the medicinal licorice and tarry quality on the end, this may well develop "naturally," as Barrett predicts.


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+.


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In the glass our 2002 has a dark, inky-purple color, saturated to the edge. It has a pronounced aromatic bouquet of luxurious pure ripe fruit, cassis and earth. The wine's diverse, complex and powerful flavor profile - with ripe cassis, blackberry, and black cherry flavors supported by hints of tar and earth - prove that the painstaking and slow process of partial row harvesting was well worth the effort. The tiny Cabernet berries yielded from the vineyard's dry soils produced powerful yet silky tannins and a refreshing backbone of acidity which, combined with its bold structure and rich flavors, infused it with plenty of power to age for a long while. The wine is elegant, showy and polished, with plenty of body and plush ripeness. We think you can enjoy the powerful, vibrant fruit now by opening a few bottles, and then wait a couple years for the concentrated, distinctive Montelena character to evolve before opening the rest.

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