In the glass, Chateau Montelena 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet shows a deep, dense, black ruby color. It offers complex aromatics of berry, cedar, licorice, and classic Cabernet which, combined with its rich, underlying fruit concentration, should please the most discriminating wine lover. In the mouth it is wonderfully smooth, full-bodied and balanced, with attractive berry and spice notes, along with rich, fine grained Cabernet tannins.
Tasty today, this wine is built in the traditional Montelena style, so that it will also definitely develop nicely with a few years of cellar time.
"The winery continues to turn out a strong Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in the Calistoga area. This is a big production item (10,000 cases), and tends to be a good value for a high-class Napa Cabernet. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (22,000 cases) is a beauty. Savory black currant fruit notes intermixed with some licorice, underbrush, and spice jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, smoothly textured, beautifully elegant wine meant to be served and drunk in its first 10-12 years of life. This clearly has the fingerprints of Chateau Montelena’s Bo Barrett and his father Jim Barrett, but at a much lower price point, and for that reason seems an ideal steakhouse Cabernet that gives both value and pleasure. "
The Wine Advocate
"Quite rich and exotic, with complex, appealing flavors of cocoa puff, mocha, buttered cinnamon toast, blackberry granola and smoky cedar. This richness finishes drily, but the wine is very tannic, giving it a lock-down astringency. Needs time. Best after 2011, and through 2015 or so. S.H."