Chateau Montelena

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

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Jim Barrett’s dream of Chateau Montelena was that this wine, their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, achieve the balance and complexity of flavors, aromas and textures to be considered among the great examples of Cabernet in the world. Almost since his first vintages in the 1970s, this wine has been a show-stopper that has everything in place, while revealing the majesty and distinctive character of the estate vineyard site in the northern Napa area that the Barretts led to recognition as its own appellation, Calistoga.

Today, the 50-year legacy of excellence in farming, crafting and blending powerful wines and continued innovation and attention to detail is what sets Chateau Montelena Winery apart.

Vineyard

This wine is 100% made with estate fruit. The diversity of soils and slopes where this is grown in Calistoga directly translates to layers of complexity and depth in the glass. 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.

Winemaking

The wine is made up of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdoit and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels (40% new) for 22 months. It exuberantly reflects the Calistoga vineyard, while balancing power with an extraordinary ability to age.

Vintage

A lush, moderate spring abruptly transitioned to a dynamic summer punctuated by highly variable temperatures during the day and plenty of warm, cloudless nights. The vines responded by producing an incredibly broad palette of flavors in the fruit and textural nuances that embody those of both cool and warm vintages. Vibrant vintages like 2017 are relatively rare but present an exciting challenge to capture those unique elements in the bottle.

Tasting Note

Blueberry, sage and cedar accentuate the opulence of the vintage before yielding to spicy black pepper and dried cherry. It’s an incredibly interesting contrast that’s easily identifiable now but will mellow in time.

There’s an abundance of purity and freshness as the palate leans toward cool character with layer after layer of raspberry jam, cocoa, strawberry and clove. While not overly coarse, the tannins are persistent and mouthcoating, a perfect balance to the laser focused seam of acidity that slowly yields to the stony minerality that’s typical of wine from the Estate.

Polished and persistent, the finish transitions from mineral to cassis and then glides through ripe plum adorned with allspice and espresso. Delicate notes of vanilla and mint slowly come into focus leaving an extraordinarily complex and delicious experience to behold.

Food Pairing

This is a powerhouse wine that can stand up to any number of complex dishes, but can be best enjoyed with beef, lamb, game (deer, venison) and mature, hard cheeses.

Color

Red

Grape Varieties

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot

Appellation

Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

Farming

The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% estate fruit, all of which is sustainably farmed and produced in their solar powered winery

Alcohol

13.8%

Suggested Retail Price

$160.00

Reviews

"Extra kick of exoticism"

Vinous (93+ ) -

“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate shows the racier, more voluptuous side of the vintage. A burst of super-ripe red cherry fruit, spice, mint, tobacco and cedar gives the wine an extra kick of exoticism that is a signature of the year, and a bit out of character for Montelena. Even so, the wine retains its super-classic sense of structure. Today, the 2017 is clearly still recovering from its recent bottling a few months ago, but it has so much to offer." - A.G. 

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Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California

The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the balance of Montelena, classic “old-world” structure with ripe California fruit.  It is crafted from fruit coming from the Montelena vineyard and several prime neighboring vineyards, all in the Calistoga AVA. The Montelena Napa Cabernet is a wine that delivers immediate pleasure upon release, but in Montelena style, while age and develop beautifully.

Napa Valley Chardonnay

Napa Valley, California

A true icon. The Napa Valley Chardonnay is the wine that put Chateau Montelena and Napa Valley at the forefront of the wine world in 1976, in what is now memorialized as “The Judgment of Paris.” To great disbelief, the Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay was the top-ranking wine against four white Burgundies and five other California Chardonnays. And as they say, the rest is history.

Zinfandel

Napa Valley, California

Produced from grapes grown on the Montelena Estate vineyard, the Zinfandel is a classically-structured, subtle and refined wine. More than anything, it hearkens back to the way that Zinfandel was made in the 1960s and 1970s, with completely distinctive, rich and spicy California berry fruit, but a balance that made them no heavier than their Cabernet counterparts.

Potter Valley Riesling

Mendocino, California

Riesling is a hidden gem within the Chateau Montelena portfolio. Many people don’t know it exists, and once they do – they keep coming back for more. Stylistically, it is amazingly refreshing with notes of lemon blossom, honeysuckle and rose petal that are balanced by lively acidity.