2011 Chateau Montelena The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley California USA
$149.99 USD $179.99 USD
Aromatically, this is one of the most elegant Estate Cabernets that we have released in the last decade. Notes of strawberry, rhubarb, and vanilla jump out of the glass, closely followed by lavender, bay laurel, and allspice that gradually increase in intensity as the wine breathes. On the palate, the rich minerality is balanced by ripe raspberry and earth, all of which are tied together by silky, fine tannins that frame and enhance the soft texture, rather than overwhelm it. A vein of bright acidity is present from start to finish and, coupled with subtle toasted oak undertones, accentuates the splendor of Old World and California flavors integrating seamlessly. As would be expected, the finish is almost Bordelaise in its subtlety and grace, with hints of cranberry, mint, and cocoa.
Blend: 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc
Bright ruby-red. Captivating, high-pitched aromas of cassis, licorice pastille, bitter chocolate, violet, rose petal and mocha. Juicy and tightly wound, with fresh acidity energizing the middle palate but keeping the wine's dark berry flavors restrained today. There's a lightly peppery quality that gives away the vintage, but this highly aromatic wine is a big success for the year and very well made.
Rated 92 Points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
This cold rainy year has a bad reputation (some in Napa didn’t even pick), but the Montelena is one of the valley’s successes, with Bordeaux-like elegance, a red fruit profile, bright acidity and silky-soft tannins. Typically, the blend includes 20% hillside vineyard grapes - for this wine it was 35%. Aromas of lavender, earth, bay leaves and spice jump out of the glass and rich minerality ties together the savoury, subtle flavors.
Rated 92 Points Wine Enthusiast