Chateau Montelena shot to fame in 1976 at the iconic Judgement of Paris that shook the wine world to its core when their 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay won first place against an enviable line-up of top French Burgundies. The result was a shock to the wine trade all over the world and changed the history of California wine - and Chateau Montelena - forever.
Incredibly floral and opulent, the red berry character of this vintage, mostly Bing cherry and raspberry at this stage, is buttressed by rich notes of cocoa, hazelnut, and Earl Grey. Black pepper and cedar complement this freshness exquisitely.
Dense but light on its feet, the contrast of velvety tannins and bright acid bookend a youthful and vibrant palate, chock full of blackberry sorbet, plum sauce, and strawberry jam. Fresh fig and marzipan lend richness and texture while stitching these disparate forces into a cohesive yet lively experience.
Baking spices abound on the finish along with coffee bean, star anise, and an almost caramellike sweetness that dovetails beautifully with fresh blueberry and cinnamon.
Introduction to Chateau Montelena
The premise behind our flagship wine is decidedly simple: it’s unapologetically Montelena. With over 40 years of experience in this dynamic and distinctive vineyard, we’ve recognized the value of blazing our own trail outside of others’ conventions and norms. It takes confidence in our land as well our people, farming, and winemaking to buck the trends and fads that perpetually morph and meander through the wine world. Most of all, we set the standard for ourselves, not relative to the rest of Napa Valley or the vintage expectations, but based on our own potential and our own drive to make this wine better every year. is is not without risk, and is certainly not the easy path to take, but it’s inherently part of who we are, our legacy and our future.
The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in one of the world's most unique winegrowing properties. The site's diversity of soils and slopes translates directly into the layers of complex flavors in our wines.
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. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting.
This diversified soil profile results in aromatic, rich and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, characterized by the unique earthy-berry flavor that is the Montelena Estate. Our decades-old Zinfandel vines, planted in volcanic soil, combined with our 10-year-old vines in alluvial soil, produce a wine with a spicy, ripe berry flavor.
92 points Vinous
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a very pretty wine. Floral, lithe and understated, the 2016 is a wine of grace above all else. Sweet red cherry, mint, licorice, sweet tobacco and cedar open up in a fragrant, classically built Cabernet that is long on class and character. This is a seriously beautiful Cabernet in its peer group."
92 points Jeb Dunnuck
"The largest production cuvée is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, which comes mostly from Calistoga (there's a small amount of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Oak Knoll) and spends 16 months in roughly 20% new French oak. Its ruby/purple color is followed by a vibrant, juicy wine that has plenty of black cherry, blackberry, spring flowers, and graphite. It's medium-bodied, elegant and seamless, with terrific purity and a balanced, juicy style. It's beautiful, classic Napa Valley Cabernet to drink over the coming 10-15 years."
|Cultivar||99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc|
14.1 % alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle||10.5 units|
|Cellaring Potential||Drink through until 2031|
|Allergen Information||Contains Sulphites|
22 months, 100% French oak, 40% new