Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 750ML
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Notes from the Winemaker
Dark garnet, nearly violet in the glass, the aromatic intensity of this wine is irresistible. Fresh berries and dried cherries comingle with bergamot, lavender, mint, gunpowder and sage without a single element dominating another.
Fresh and dynamic, with cranberry, cola and raspberry jam. The acidity is laser focused, the spine pulling the layers of flavor into harmony with the wine’s supple, yet dense, structure. The tannins here serve to elevate, not overwhelm, the kinetic balance of texture, ripeness and vineyard character.
Toasted hazelnut and vanilla emerge as the wine leans savory with mushroom, black pepper and cedar. The Merlot in the blend really shines here with rhubarb, cassis and velvety softness.
Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.
In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film Bottle Shock.
Today Chateau Montelena’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.