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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • V95
  • WS92
  • WW95
  • RP93
  • RP94
  • JS93
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • JS92
  • WE92
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP94
  • RP94
  • RP96
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • RP98
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • WS95
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • WS94
  • RP91
  • RP98
  • RP96
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • RP92
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WS90
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Currently Unavailable $128.99
Try the 2006 Vintage 149 99
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128 99
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Winemaker Notes

This wine has a deep, dark color revealing its concentration and extract. Its room-filling fragrance is the pure essence of Cabernet, with ripe cassis and black cherry fruit and the signature earthiness of The Montelena Estate's complex soils. On the palate the wine is full and warm with ripe fruit flavors and layer upon layer of complexity. A velvety-soft texture is framed by a stylish tannic grip, ensuring drinking pleasure now and for many years to come.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Montelena’s backward, elegant, complex 2001 Estate reveals a dense ruby/purple color along with foresty, earthy notes intermixed with black currant characteristics as well as sweet tannin. Always a less ripe outlier (although it contains 14% natural alcohol), it will benefit from 2-3 more years of cellaring and should keep for at least 20 more years based on the extraordinary longevity Montelena Cabernet Sauvignons possess.
Rating: 91+
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Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

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Chateau Montelena, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
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Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.


In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film Bottle Shock.


Today Chateau Montelena’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.

Calistoga

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One of Napa Valley’s oldest wine growing subregions but last to gain appellation status, Calistoga occupies the northernmost section of the valley. Beginning at the foot of Mount St. Helena, its vineyards stretch over steep canyons and roll out onto the valley floor. The soils in Calistoga are rich in volcanic matter, which means they are heavy in minerals, low in organic matter and allow good drainage for vine roots, creating less green growth and more concentration of flavor within the grape berries.

Summer days are very hot but most nights cool down with cooling breezes sneaking in over the Mayacamas Mountains or from Knights Valley to its northwest.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the area’s star variety with Zinfandel coming in a strong second, though the latter commands far less price per tonnage so continues to be outshined by Cabernet in vineyard acreage, save for some important exceptions.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SSR82604_2001 Item# 82604