Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1989
Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
The Wine Advocate - "When I think back to the top California Cabernet Sauvignon wineries twenty-two years ago (1973), it is shocking to see how many of the finest wineries in 1973 have fallen behind today's leading Cabernet producers. For example, Beaulieu, Heitz, Inglenook, Mayacamas, and Freemark Abby were undisputed leaders in the early seventies, but in 1995, they have been surpassed by thirty or forty other producers. I can think of only three wineries that were making fabulous Cabernet Sauvignons in 1973 that have continued to produce great wines, with no qualitative slumps through 1995 - Caymus Vineyard, Ridge, and Chateau Montelena. Because Chateau Montelena is "old" by California standards, it is easy to overlook the extraordinary wines produced by Jim Barrett and his son, Bo. Remarkably, there is not a bad vintage of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon to be found. While hitting the peaks in top years, this winery makes fine Cabernets in vintages where other producers flounder. A recent example of this is the 1989 Estate Cabernet, a superb wine that continues to languish on the shelves of retailers. For that reason, an invitation to a vertical tasting of Chateau Montelena's estate Cabernet is one of the most exciting tickets in town."
Chateau Montelena Winery
Chateau Montelena was founded in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs. The renaissance of the winery, under the leadership of James Barrett, began in 1972 with the replanting of the Estate vineyard and the establishment of the Chateau Montelena philosophy: make the best, period. Today the tradition continues. Jim Barrett’s son, Bo, winemaker at Chateau Montelena beginning in 1982, is now its Master Winemaker. After more than three decades of experience with the same vineyards and varieties, the Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Valley Chardonnay are recognized as world-class. View all Chateau Montelena Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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