"Montelena's 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa exhibits plenty of sweet black currant fruit along with bright notes of black cherries, minerals, and dried herbs. The addition of 25% Merlot from the estate's vineyard softened the wine and gave it more texture as well as charm.
I was surprised by how successful the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa has turned out. While it was a much tougher year than 1998, those producers who were not spooked into harvesting early because of the rain as well as the 95-100 degree heat spikes that occurred on September 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, were able to bring in ripe fruit that retained its acidity and depth. Sadly, not enough North Coast producers were willing to take that chance. It will be delicious upon release, and drink well for 10-12 years."
The color of the wine is a deep garnet red in the glass, like nice dark claret. The nose is raspberry, bramble, cassis, some earth and the characteristic Cabernet black pepper spice. There is a bit more cedar and pepper up front with the softer Merlot aromas in the background. It is a wine with more classic cassis and terroir, rather than the dominant jammy fruit we see in warmer vintages.
The palate is soft, with warm cassis, lots of red berry, and great varietal character. It has a very polished and supple tannin structure, highlighting the complexity that results from the blend of the different vineyards. The judicious use of 20% new oak barrels also gives a soft warmth and depth to the wine's basic character without being obvious. In the end it is a wine and a vintage where our more traditional winemaking techniques and low yields combine to give an elegant, Old World style wine. You can enjoy this one right out of the gate!
-Bo Barrett, Winemaker