Robert Parker Rating:91+
Montelenas backward, elegant, complex 2001 Estate reveals a dense ruby/purple color along with foresty, earthy notes intermixed with black currant characteristics as well as sweet tannin. Always a less ripe outlier (although it contains 14% natural alcohol), it will benefit from 2-3 more years of cellaring and should keep for at least 20 more years based on the extraordinary longevity Montelena Cabernet Sauvignons possess.
Steve Tanzer Rating:90 Points
Bright, saturated ruby. Superripe, almost roasted aromas of black fruits, bitter chocolate, licorice and tar. Sweeter and fuller than the 2000 but more tightly wound and less forthcoming. Juicy dark berry and violet flavors. Austere today, but builds impressively on the back half, finishing with dusty, fine-grained tannins and terrific persistence. Zacherle describes this as "denser and more rustic than the more open, elegant 2000." It's also longer on the aftertaste and will require more bottle aging.