Chateau Montelena

The Montelena Estate Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon

9.21908 ratings
9.1379 pro ratings
Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Onion, Shallot, Garlic, Pasta, Venison, Tomato-Based, Potato, Pork, Chocolate & Caramel, White Rice, Mushrooms, Beef, Lamb, Chili & Hot Spicy
Top Notes For
Jay Kline

Cork pulled a couple hours in advance and allowed to slow-ox. The color is deep garnet with a near opaque core and perhaps some slight browning towards the rim but color looks great. There’s significant sediment now. Powerful aromas of black currants, dark cherries, tobacco, green pepper, and baking spices. On the palate, the structure is still pretty sturdy even though the tannins have integrated well. The fruit is ripe and quite delicious and taking on some secondary notes of leather, mushrooms and decomposed earth. The acid giving the wine the lift and energy necessary at 18 years old. A lovely wine that, while at peak, has quite a bit of good life left in it. Drink before 2029.

Cork pulled a couple hours in advance and allowed to slow-ox. The color is deep garnet with a near opaque core and perhaps some slight browning towards the rim but color looks great. There’s significant sediment now. Powerful aromas of black currants, dark cherries, tobacco, green pepper, and baking spices. On the palate, the structure is still pretty sturdy even though the tannins have integrated well. The fruit is ripe and quite delicious and taking on some secondary notes of leather, mushrooms and decomposed earth. The acid giving the wine the lift and energy necessary at 18 years old. A lovely wine that, while at peak, has quite a bit of good life left in it. Drink before 2029.

Apr 27th, 2022
Jay Eagan

Great Cabernet with with blue fruit and spice box it aged beautifully

Great Cabernet with with blue fruit and spice box it aged beautifully

Apr 16th, 2022
Sean Trapani

Founder/Educator Wine Fluent, Consultant ABC Fine Wines & Spirits

9.0

Nice balancing act of dark fruits, clove, and vanilla with plenty of life left

Nice balancing act of dark fruits, clove, and vanilla with plenty of life left

Apr 14th, 2022
Mike Saviage

Dark scarlet color. Opaque. Nice aged cab nose. Notes of black cherry, plum, leather saddle, herbs, sweet balsamic vinegar and cigar box. Rich and powerful in the mouth. Needed all of its 5 hours of decant time to open up. Very nice but just a slight step below the 90 Cos next to it.

Dark scarlet color. Opaque. Nice aged cab nose. Notes of black cherry, plum, leather saddle, herbs, sweet balsamic vinegar and cigar box. Rich and powerful in the mouth. Needed all of its 5 hours of decant time to open up. Very nice but just a slight step below the 90 Cos next to it.

Feb 4th, 2022
Drew Summers

Sales Northampton Wines

9.3

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Jan 22nd, 2022
Loren Grossman

Vintner Wilde Farm Wines

9.2

Fully mature, essential Napa Cabernet. Plum, cedar, short bread, licorice. A hint of slightly savory A1. Elegant mouthfeel with a slightly receding mid palate. Surprisingly firm tannins. Drink now. Perfect with lamb chops.

Fully mature, essential Napa Cabernet. Plum, cedar, short bread, licorice. A hint of slightly savory A1. Elegant mouthfeel with a slightly receding mid palate. Surprisingly firm tannins. Drink now. Perfect with lamb chops.

Mar 6th, 2021
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