x
  • Country ranking ?

    287
  • Producer ranking ?

    8
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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The Story

The wines here at Chateau Montelena are often described as having classic “old-world” structure with ripe California fruit, and it is in years like 2010 that this really shines through. What that means is that these wines tend to have more acid, lower pH, and more moderate alcohol levels as compared to some of the flashy “modern” Cabs. This classic chemistry allows them to pair very well with a wide variety of dishes and sets them up for graceful aging. The beauty of our style is that you get all the wonderful ripe flavors that California is known for, but with much more expression of place, and without all the noise and distraction of high alcohols and overwhelming new oak flavors.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2006 growing season started out with an unusually wet spring that pushed rains all the way into June (great for the health of the vines). This was followed by a relatively cool early summer period that was characterized by fog rolling up-valley almost every morning into July. Montelena then experienced its normal pattern of heat spikes before a late July cool down. Heat resumed in earnest during August and September, accelerating the ripening of some of the cabernet blocks. They began the red harvest at a pace that quickly filled up the winery, keeping them at capacity for nearly 24 hours. The heat finally broke in early October, and with that retreat in temperatures the harvest came to a virtual halt for the first two weeks of October. Following that cool spell and benefiting from the extended hang-time, the last of the cabernet blocks were harvested before Halloween.
 
The effect of this was a split personality vintage with two distinct phases, each with markedly different characteristics. The early phase was dominated by heat and intensity, while the second phase was much cooler in character. The first phase gave concentration and firm tannins, while the second phase provided the grapes longer hang time and delivered fruit with a softer more elegant profile. Essentially Montelena experienced the best of both worlds all in one vintage, thus yielding a complex and beautifully balanced wine.
 
Dark rich ruby in color, this wine offers rich, complex aromas of ripe dark cherry, sweet chocolate, cinnamon, pie spice, and leather, with top notes of rose and forest floor. In the mouth this wine makes a full soft round entry, after which the acid builds nicely to make it very juicy and inviting. Loads of fine grain tannin completes the mouthfeel, with berry patch, fruit stand flavors dominating. Nice notes of clove and toasted oak round out the tremendous long finish that will keep you coming back for more. This is a very well balanced wine that will age well and pair beautifully with a wide array of foods.

Ruby. Dark fruits, red berries, spices, some anise, leather and liquorice, exotic notes and mint. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, ripe, fruity, sweet, red berries, spices, some warmth, detailed, lacks some nuances in the finish, long. 94

  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Calistoga, Napa Valley

Highlights

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