Chateau Montelena

The Montelena Estate Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon

9.21844 ratings
9.1367 pro ratings
Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Top Notes For
Shay A
9.5

WNH Montelena Estate virtual tasting. Others represented were the ‘94 (evidently corked), ‘01, ‘03, ‘07, ‘15.

I may be an outlier here, but Montelena is one of the few wineries where I not only don’t care for them young, I just honestly don’t enjoy them at all (and that’s coming from someone who enjoys the likes of Myriad, Bevan, Rivers Marie, etc on the young side). For my preference, they are just so vastly better with 15+yrs of age to them. YMMV.

After standing this upright for about two weeks, I gave this about a 45min decant. Starting off fairly thin and having some funk to blow off, it really bulked up after an hour and a half. Dark ruby/tawny in the glass. Reminiscent of left bank Bordeaux (leather, herbs de Provence, only a hint of tobacco), but a sweet cherry liqueur and dried cranberry on the nose bring this back to possibly New World. On the palate it sports underripe and dried black cherries, red clay, cedar, bay leaf, and earthy tertiary notes. Gripping, tannic finish with balanced acidity. In harmony here. I’d say this likely has another 3-5yrs in this beautiful drinking window before evolving more.

WNH Montelena Estate virtual tasting. Others represented were the ‘94 (evidently corked), ‘01, ‘03, ‘07, ‘15.

I may be an outlier here, but Montelena is one of the few wineries where I not only don’t care for them young, I just honestly don’t enjoy them at all (and that’s coming from someone who enjoys the likes of Myriad, Bevan, Rivers Marie, etc on the young side). For my preference, they are just so vastly better with 15+yrs of age to them. YMMV.

After standing this upright for about two weeks, I gave this about a 45min decant. Starting off fairly thin and having some funk to blow off, it really bulked up after an hour and a half. Dark ruby/tawny in the glass. Reminiscent of left bank Bordeaux (leather, herbs de Provence, only a hint of tobacco), but a sweet cherry liqueur and dried cranberry on the nose bring this back to possibly New World. On the palate it sports underripe and dried black cherries, red clay, cedar, bay leaf, and earthy tertiary notes. Gripping, tannic finish with balanced acidity. In harmony here. I’d say this likely has another 3-5yrs in this beautiful drinking window before evolving more.

Jan 5th, 2021
Rob Brobst III

Perfection In winemaking..... the magnum offered the perfect vessel to deliver a truly amazing experience.....

Perfection In winemaking..... the magnum offered the perfect vessel to deliver a truly amazing experience.....

Jan 4th, 2021
Mike Saviage

Dark scarlet center with tawny rims. Opaque. Notes of dark fruit, violets, tobacco leaf, some black licorice, herbs and sage. Stark contrast of fruit and structure in the mouth. Has a green element that is more evident as the wine gets air. This did not show as well as I had hoped.

Dark scarlet center with tawny rims. Opaque. Notes of dark fruit, violets, tobacco leaf, some black licorice, herbs and sage. Stark contrast of fruit and structure in the mouth. Has a green element that is more evident as the wine gets air. This did not show as well as I had hoped.

Nov 25th, 2020
Cameron Parry

‘08 is just hitting its stride. Great sweet fruit, juicy acidity, lush but firm tannins.

‘08 is just hitting its stride. Great sweet fruit, juicy acidity, lush but firm tannins.

Nov 8th, 2020
Cameron Parry

Still very lively and vibrant at 15. Restrained but well structured, with a great balance of fruit. Savory notes are starting to come out more. Very long finish.

Still very lively and vibrant at 15. Restrained but well structured, with a great balance of fruit. Savory notes are starting to come out more. Very long finish.

Sep 4th, 2020
Cathy Corison

Owner/Winemaker Corison Winery

9.0

Chocolate, plums. Broad. Cassis.

Chocolate, plums. Broad. Cassis.

Sep 1st, 2020
Delectable Wine

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9.5

Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Captivating floral lift to the very primary aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals and earth, plus subtle notes of coffee and mocha. Tactile and sharply delineated, delivering a wonderful balance of sweet fruit and salty mineral and soil elements. Still linear but not at all angular, this penetrating wine finishes firmly tannic, classically dry, subtle and very long, with echoing mineral complexity. Really complete Cabernet here--and stuffed with flavor. (the estate began using a new Delta destemmer as of 2001) (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)

Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Captivating floral lift to the very primary aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals and earth, plus subtle notes of coffee and mocha. Tactile and sharply delineated, delivering a wonderful balance of sweet fruit and salty mineral and soil elements. Still linear but not at all angular, this penetrating wine finishes firmly tannic, classically dry, subtle and very long, with echoing mineral complexity. Really complete Cabernet here--and stuffed with flavor. (the estate began using a new Delta destemmer as of 2001) (Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, June 2020)

Jun 25th, 2020
Mike Saviage

Dark tawny color. Mostly opaque. Notes of black cherries, evergreen trees, oak barrel and some spice. Good fruit and structure in the mouth. An herbal thing exists. An OK wine. No need to wait longer for it.

Dark tawny color. Mostly opaque. Notes of black cherries, evergreen trees, oak barrel and some spice. Good fruit and structure in the mouth. An herbal thing exists. An OK wine. No need to wait longer for it.

Jun 7th, 2020
Rob B
9.3

Full bodied and a little spice. Loved it!

Full bodied and a little spice. Loved it!

May 24th, 2020
Jay Eagan

The nose is dark fruit and a barrel room!

The nose is dark fruit and a barrel room!

Feb 5th, 2020