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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Chateau Montelena

19 notes Sort by: Vintage - Name - Rating

2016 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay  (Napa Valley) 90

Light, fresh, yellow citrus, green apple and lemon peel with a touch of vanilla and flowers in a ready to drink format are what you find here.

2185 Views   Tasted
2015 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 94

Floral, elegant, soft and dare I say, with some polish and finesse to the tannins. The fruit is ripe, sweet fresh and juicy, which is perfectly offset by touches of vanilla, espresso, forest floor and spice. For Montelena Estate, this will drink well young and should age nicely for at least 2 decades.

3849 Views   Tasted
2012 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 92

Nice wine here, with lots of fresh, sweet, juicy black cherries, blackberry, pepper and earthy qualities. The tannins are ripe and smooth, finishing with ample fresh, ripe dark berries. Like all Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon wines, this will probably be much better in a decade.

5690 Views   Tasted
2011 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 90

Surprisingly forward and approachable for a Montelena this young, the medium bodied wine, with is cherry dominated core also displayed oak, spice and earthy character.

2520 Views   Tasted
2010 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 92

Firm, structured and demanding bottle age, the wine is clean, fresh and long, with blackberries, earth, spicy red plums and herbs.

3427 Views   Tasted
2009 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon  (Calistoga) 90

Vanilla, earth, blackberry, black cherry and a nice array of spices open the wine. Soft, approachable and with good freshness, the wine ends with a round, red and black fruit filled finish, which is complicated by fresh herbs.

4063 Views   Tasted

Medium bodied with red and black fruits, earth, oak and tobacco, this is easy to like and drink.

4187 Views   Tasted 89
2009 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 92

Earth, licorice, spice, cassis and coffee notes lead to a rich, full, concentrated, tannic wine that requires 3-5 years to relinquish some of its tannic structure.

4257 Views   Tasted
2007 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 93

Tannic, young, ripe and firm, especially for a 2007 wine, this needs time to integrate, develop more softness in the tannins and flesh out.

4442 Views   Tasted
2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 92

Medium-bodied, and already surprisingly drinkable, the wine offers smoke, licorice, bay leaf and blackberries on the nose. The fruit is ripe, fresh and sweet, but the structure and concentration found in the best vintages of Montelena Estate are not there.

3637 Views   Tasted
2002 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 94

Popped and poured at the last minute to toast Jim Barrett who just passed away, the wine as expected is still young. With air, this earthy, fresh, cassis, spice and blackberry filled wine began to show its stuff. It is dense, full bodied, and packed with tannins, demanding at least 5-10 more years to soften and develop. There is a beautiful sensation of purity of fruit in the structured wine.

5224 Views   Tasted
2001 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 90

96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. Big, dense, concentrated and powerful, the cassis, tobacco and earthy tannic, wine is well made, but it lacks grace and elegance.

7905 Views   Tasted
1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 94

With an earthy, cassis filled nose, the wine is full bodied, rich, fresh, young and vibrant, with a long, spicy, ripe, fruit driven finish.

4144 Views   Tasted

Rich, full bodied and intense, with polished tannins, lift, purity of fruit and freshness, the wine moves from blackberry to dark cherry and back to black fruits again in the finish. This is good now and will keep getting better with age.

3860 Views   Tasted 94

I have not always been the biggest fan of Montelena. While the wines are always well made, for my palate, they have been lacking in character. Popped and poured at the end of the night, I was blown away by the quality of this wine! Everything about it rocked starting with the deep color. The pungent aromatics packed with cassis, earth, tobacco and truffle were a pleasure to experience. But the thick, plush, palate coating texture was where the fireworks took off. The wine has great intensity, purity, complexity and length, and it's still young! This is the vintage to buy of Montelena. If it was this good just popped and poured, with time and air, this is a serious Cabernet Sauvignon for the cellar.

5818 Views   Tasted 96

This began with spice box, black cherry and smokey aromatics. Soft, elegant and full bodied, the wine seemed like it was still holding a lot in reserve.

9516 Views   Tasted 92

Thick, rich, concentrated and opulent. Reminds of the 91 Montelena, but younger. Very youthful, but can easily be enjoyed today, or cellared for 20 or more years

4043 Views   Tasted 95
1995 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 91

According to my last note, from 5 years ago, the wine showed a marked green streak. I had forgotten all about it. Popped and poured, that is still the overriding characteristic. The wine is concentrated, big and with loads of fruit, earth and tobacco, but the green streak paints a wide swath down the middle of your palate. Those who long for old school Cabernet, when pyrazines were a big part of the picture will probably love it.

2576 Views   Tasted

Fresh, ripe cherries and cassis in the aromatics, bright, crisp, fresh with a distinctive herbal, green pepper tint on the palate.

3158 Views   Tasted 90
1994 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 92

Traditional in style, with cassis, blackberry, tobacco, spice and forest aromas, the wine is concentrated, youthful and crisp, ending in a big, chewy layer of dark red fruits. Clearly this is well made, but perhaps it's not the most exciting style of wine.

3522 Views   Tasted

Offering spice box, truffle, dark berries, smoke and tobacco on the nose. This full bodied wine ended with ample black cherry, but there was some tartness noted in the final notes.

6466 Views   Tasted 92

Deep, intense flavors that continue expanding in the glass. This is a serious wine in a classic, non culty style. Classy, not flashy. Still young.

3073 Views   Tasted 92
1991 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 95

Still going strong, it's impossible to believe this wine is 25 years of age, due to all the freshness, vibrancy and clean, ripe, cassis that shines through. Full bodied, richly textured and concentrated, you can pop a bottle today with pleasure. But if you forget about a few bottles for another decade, I am sure they will be just as good in the future as well.

3960 Views   Tasted

Great nose, body, palate presence and filled with ripe cassis, spice, herbs and chocolate. This has a good future ahead of it. Great stuff! If you’re a fan of classic California Cabs.

2788 Views   Tasted 96

The color remains dark with almost no lightening at the edges. Blackberries, cassis, oak, coffee, licorice and eucalyptus notes on the nose. Thick, chewy, full-bodied texture. Very concentrated. Black & red fruits with, chocolate covered raisins meshed well with the long lasting, slightly dusty finish.

2998 Views   Tasted 96
1987 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 89

Better on the nose than with the classic, Cabernet Sauvignon filled palate. The wine, while concentrated with good materials, falls short on the finish, which shows and rustic quality to the texture and a greenness in its flavors. This is quite strict in its character and there is an austerity on the profile that some tasters will like more than I did.

3068 Views   Tasted
1985 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley) 93

If you’re seeking a classic California Cabernet Sauvignon to stack up against upper level Bordeaux in a blind tasting, this is the wine. Still young, fresh, vibrant and fruit filled, the wine is concentrated, balanced, rich, complex and aromatic.

3886 Views   Tasted
1977 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate  (Napa Valley) 93

1977 Montelena starts with tobacco, earth, cassis and spice aromas. Full bodied and filled with chewy cassis and coca flavors. This powerful, old school California Cab still has a lot to offer. 93 Pts

4056 Views   Tasted
1974 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon  (Sonoma County) 90

At close to 45 years of age, this still has its old school charm intact, with its tobacco, cedar wood, cassis and tart, red berry profile. Medium/full bodied, and with a bit too much tart over sweet fruit, with rustic tannins in the finish, it's still a fun look back at the old school, California Cabernet Sauvignon.

2147 Views   Tasted