When we talk about vintages at Montelena, they are often categorized as "hot" or "cool." Then occasionally there are years like 2007 which, because of their ideal conditions, earn the tag of "Goldilocks" because everything was just right. Warm spring conditions led to earlier than normal bud break, while the moderate temperatures in summer and early fall further extended the growing season, resulting in long, slow ripening with fantastic flavor development and near-perfect juice chemistries.
Medium red. Cherry, redcurrant and floral aromas are complicated by a whiff of soil. Offers good sweetness and breadth to its spicy, bright red fruit flavors. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins and a hint of mocha. The fruit is mostly from Game Farm Vineyard in Oakville, which McMahon says features "rocky Tuscan soil." This will be bottled in July.
The Wine AdvocateA great wine in the making, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (just under 10,000 cases produced) possesses a fragrant bouquet of sweet black currants, crushed rocks, earth and background oak. Full-bodied and dense, with Montelena's typical power, tannin and reserved nature, this is a big, rich, formidably endowed red that requires 4-5 years of cellaring. That in itself is atypical of this exuberant, flamboyant vintage. Given this cuvee’s past history, this 2007 should age for 30+ years.
Rating: 94+ points
International Wine CellarSaturated, deep ruby-red. Deep aromas of blackberry, blueberry, violet and minerals; reminded me of a Pauillac. Silky on entry, then dense and sweet in the middle, conveying an impression of power. There's a youthfully medicinal quality to the dark berry and licorice flavors but unusual early sweetness and pliancy to this normally long-aging wine. Finishes with very suave tannins and impressive persistence. This is actually 14.3% alcohol, which is unusually high here. Barrett could only recall the 2004, 1994 and 1978 surpassing 14%.
Wine EnthusiastNot a wine for drinking now or anytime soon. It's so hard in tannins, it basically locks down the palate, and the astringency seems to accentuate the acidity and dryness. However, there is a deep core of blackberry essence and, after all, this is Montelena. All indications are that it will be a terrific wine in another 8 or 10 years.
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