Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The wines at Chateau Montelena are often described as having classic "old-world" structure with ripe California fruit, the 2011 vintage is an excellent example of the stylistic target of this wine. What that means is that these wines tend to have more acid, lower pH and more moderate alcohol levels as compared to some of the flashy "modern" Cabs. This classic chemistry allows them to pair very well with a wide variety of dishes and sets them up for graceful aging.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "A big, mouth filling wine, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, shows the personality of the vintage in its intense fruit. There is plenty of underlying structure in this deep, resonant Cabernet Sauvignon. Mint, flowers and sweet red berries are some of the nuances that are woven into the finish. This is far from an easygoing Napa Cabernet. Although delicious today, it should drink well for a number of years. Another year or so in bottle should help the elements come together even more fully. The 2010 is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright red. Perfumed, rather cool aromas of cassis, menthol, fresh herbs, flowers, anise and fennel. Juicy, spicy and tight but not hard, with a pungent core of acidity and an impression of briary, earthy minerality giving the wine plenty of personality. This firmly tannic cabernet smells a bit raw in the way of a young barrel sample. "Not the sun-baked fruit of 2009," noted assistant winemaker Crafton. "It was hard to get superripeness in 2010" Rating: 88-90"
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 Guide
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
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