28 February, 2017
Chateau Montelena 2013 Cabernet SauvignonComments : 2 Posted in : Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Wine, Wine on by : becca
Chateau Montelena 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, CA
Obligatory disclaimer: This wine was provided as a sample for my review.
The legend of Chateau Montelena is mighty, being as it took the highest white wine ranking for its 1973 Chardonnay in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, the famed wine competition responsible for California’s rise to prominence in the wine industry. Thus, to try a Chateau Montelena wine, even of a different color palette, was a real treat for me. My notes:
Tastes like a cabinet wine you may have forgotten, but it hasn’t forgotten itself. Dried mulberries and raspberries with fresh blueberries, all steamed together in a packet of banana leaves and orange fruit leather. A teaser trailer for the best motion picture of the year.
As my tasting notes imply, this wine provided me with a nice, long look at the mastery this 135-year-old winery possesses. It’s not la pièce de résistance, but it is a more than capable general in the battle of greatness in winemaking. At $58, it’s more than I can afford, but if you have the means, this is a soldier worth sheltering. Purchase here.
Other Bloggers Thoughts:
The opening is somehow simultaneously bright, and tannic. And let’s not get carried away here, the sheer amount of tannin is crazy aggressive (and this is after it sat for an hour). Blackberries, cherries, and raspberries come out with a hit of green coffee beans and toasted oak. Notes of blueberries and herbs round things out.
Dry, medium body, bright acidity, fine tannins and superbly balanced oak (14 months in French and Eastern European oak, 16% new); easy drinking, soft fruits with some significant currant bite and cherry tartness, especially on the finish; 85% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 1% cabernet franc. This is more a serious red than seriously delicious red, especially early in the glass. Decanting strongly recommended.
Dark ruby and expressive in the glass with aromas of black currant, blackberry jam, smoke, dark mineral and dark chocolate. On the palate, body and structure is medium with very fine, silky tannins. It’s long, smooth and flavorful, finishing on a savory, ferrous note.
This is, and I mean this in the best possible way, a middle-of-the-road Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s fruit forward, but savory enough to be interesting and not at all cloying. There is satisfying richness in the mouth, but alcohol is moderate and nobody will think the fruit over-the-top. It will go nicely with a meal, but doesn’t need food to tame acidity or tannins. Drink now through 2024.
Sampled 19 December 2016.