The Montelena earthy-berry aroma is very concentrated, showing lovely, classic Cabernet, warm earth and sun baked cassis with licorice and spice. On the palate there is integration of strong, deep, concentrated fruit in a perfect balance. Super fine tannin grips the palate, with ripe, round flavors that dance right on the seam between classic Bordeaux and California styles. I look back on the battle of 2004 with fondness because the wine is so wonderful now. And after 25 or more harvests we love the greatest challenges, because once they are but memories the toughest years become the most legendary adventures.
Wine Advocate 94 points - Previously recommended, but no tasting note given.
Steve Tanzer 93 points - Marked by herb, sage and loamy, earthy dried currant and berry fruit that's intense and concentrated, but also quite dry and tannic, even bitter. Needs time. Best from 2009 through 2013. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 8,200 cases made. –JL
Located just north of Calistoga in Napa Valley, California, Chateau Montelena is an iconic estate whose name is synonymous
with excellence. Founded in 1882 by Alfred L. Tubbs, this businessman steadily increased production until Prohibition, after
which the property fell into disrepair. In 1958, Yort and Jeanie Frank purchased the estate and slowly transformed it into the
beautiful property that it is today.
When the Barrett family bought the property in 1972, James Barrett focused his attention on restoring the vineyards, winery
and cellar. Chateau Montelena is a true family affair – James’s son Bo is Montelena’s master winemaker and for more than 30
years he has consistently created benchmark wines in the house style. Other key members of the winemaking team include
winemaker Cameron Parry, assistant winemaker Matt Cratfon and vineyard manager Dave Vella.
The now famous Paris tasting of 1976 placed Chateau Montelena at the forefront of the wine world and the family continues to
build upon its legacy of excellence and dedication to terroir-driven, authentic wines.
|Wine maker notes
|The heat-dominated 2004 vintage was downright challenging, but there was nothing in it that the Montelena winegrowing team hadn't seen before. I had worked all the droughty vintages since 1976, vineyard manager Dave Vella since 1984. Over these years we’ve introduced new tools such as state-of-the-art satellite and internet weather forecasting; sorting tables and gentler de-stemming equipment and night harvesting. We were ready. Looking back, I am confident that the Chateau crush crew worked something special and far better than from similar, critically acclaimed droughty vintages.
|Harvest Dates: September 4 to September 27
Bottling Date: December 2006
Release Date: March 2008
Cases Produced: 8,200
Barrels: 30% new French
Time in Oak: 23 months
Sugar at Harvest: 26.0° brix