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Vintage Retrospective: The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernets

June 25, 2020

Stephen Tanzer, critic and editor at Vinous Media, recently published his second Napa Valley Retrospective of 2020, this time focusing on the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignons. Wedged between the three cool vintages from 1997-2000 and the hot 2002-2004 vintages, the 2001 vintage has proven to be a Napa Valley classic. Despite heavy frost in April causing significant damage to the vineyards, 2001 saw a very warm May that was followed by lower than normal temperatures during July, August and September — allowing for long hang time and slow flavor development without concentration of sugars.

The finished wines impressed, Tanzer recalls their, ” fine-grained, silky textures, their retention of fresh fruit character, their harmonious framing acidity and substantial but refined tannins.” As part of the retrospective, Tanzer re-tasted the 2001 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which received 95 points. The review details the wine’s aging potential, “captivating floral lift to the very primary aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals and earth, plus subtle notes of coffee and mocha. Tactile and sharply delineated, delivering a wonderful balance of sweet fruit and salty mineral and soil elements. Still linear but not at all angular, this penetrating wine finishes firmly tannic, classically dry, subtle and very long, with echoing mineral complexity. Really complete Cabernet here–and stuffed with flavor.”

To learn more about the 2001 vintage and Chateau Montelena, read the full retrospective HERE.

Vintage-Retrospective_-The-2001-Napa-Valley-Cabernets-Jun-2020-_-Vinous-Explore-All-Things-Wine

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    Chateau Montelena

    Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

    Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

    The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is Chateau Montelena’s flagship wine and a quality icon of Napa Valley. The winemaking team works obsessively and passionately with each vintage to capture the best expression of their historic terroir. This is a show-stopper that reveals the perfect blend of flavors, aromas and textures to reach the pinnacle of balance.

Related Producers

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    In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who's-who of the French wine establishment gathered in Paris for a blind tasting of French and American wines. When the scores were tallied, the top-ranking white wine was Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay. Montelena today continues to be a quality benchmark in Napa Valley, producing some of the finest Cabernet and Chardonnay in California.