Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is unique and distinctive with an unrivaled heritage of producing an outstanding wine each and every vintage. This diversified soil profile results in aromatic, rich and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, characterized by the unique earthy-berry flavor that is the Montelena Estate. The wine displays rich, natural, varietal fruit character, first and foremost, with finely balanced acid and tannin. Delicious and enjoyable now, and very age-worthy.
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep ruby. Lovely lift and purity to the aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Juicy, vibrant and intense; less dense than the 2007 but more perfumed in the mid-palate. Very fine-grained wine, finishing long and aromatic, with firm tannic bite and a late note of bitter chocolate. "Two thousand eight was an impossible year to make 15% wines with a 4.0 pH in Napa Valley," said Bo Barrett, adding that "it's more fun to be working in the classical world. In 2008, there's less jam to block the terroir and minerality of the vineyard. Due to all the sunlight, we made cabernet jam in 2007, but the vineyard influence shows more clearly in 2008 and 2006." The estate purchased some small tanks for this vintage and thus the team was able to pick with more precision. Barrett also told me he backed off on the pumpovers, relying more on delestage (rack-and-return) for cap management.
Wine Spectator - "Old-school, but well-done, this is tight and firm, showing a dense, balanced mix of dried currant, mineral, cedar, cigar box and tobacco flavors. Ends with good depth, range of flavor and tannins. Best from 2013 through 2023."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a gorgeous, mid-weight wine laced with mint, cassis, sweet herbs and tobacco. It is an understated, gracious wine from start to finish. This is a relatively approachable vintage for the Estate. It shows tons of finesse and mid-palate generosity while maintaining a medium-bodied personality. Today it is quite young, although it is drinking well. Readers who prefer more tertiary notes will want to cellar the wine for at least a few years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028."
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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 grated 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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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