My first experience with the 2015 “Vare Vineyard” and the first of my three allocated bottles. Ketan mentioned this was his best “Vare” bottling to-date and while I can’t speak to that (since all of my previous experiences with Beta have been the Montecillo Vineyard in Sonoma), I can verify that it has Ketan’s signature all over it. I did not decant this bottle though, it probably would have benefited from it. Never the less, the bouquet was bursting with character: predominately black fruits, anise, eucalyptus, coniferous forest floor, Anaheim pepper…the overwhelming message of freshness and one of the most unique noses I’ve ever encountered from a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, things were a little more subdued with black currants, tart black cherry and black bramble fruit with a little hint of baking spices. It seemed a touch green, to be completely honest. Bone dry and endowed with substantial structure; medium+ tannin, medium+ acid, all the while framed by a medium- body; a welter weight of a wine.
This seems right in-line with what I have come to expect from Ketan Mody’s approach and, while I don’t expect anyone to peg this as Bordeaux in a blind tasting, it certainly has some Old World sensibilities and reminds me of the way Cabernet Sauvignon was made in California 40+ years ago. And, after drinking a few 40 year old Napa Cabernet’s this past week plus the aforementioned balance of fruit/structure, I believe this has a long life ahead of it with a rather exciting upside. Drink with patience or cellar. FWIW, I don’t have any immediate plans to open my second bottle before 2025. — 3 months ago
Big, well-structured and luscious. I had a 9-year old bottle and I should have decanted it earlier in the day. This one has the bones to age and grow even more well-knit over time. — 24 days ago
Excellent bang for the buck. — 25 days ago
This is a variety that ages well in wood, producing wines with a good tannic structure, colour and acidity during the ageing process. The reserva wines of Bodegas Montecillo spend approximately 2 years in American oak barrels, producing a style that adheres to the principles of classic Rioja wines. — 3 months ago
Skin contact maceration for 96 hours. Lees aging. Interesting! — 5 months ago