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Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

  • RP94
  • JS93
  • WS91
750ML / 13.8% ABV
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  • WS91
  • RP94
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4.0 5 Ratings
750ML / 13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

One look at the dense crimson ruby color and you know that this is a big wine. The nose opens with big black cherry, currants, and plum spice cake notes. Underpinning all that fruit are layers of smoke, anise, and very subtle oak tones. The palate entry is soft and round, but builds quickly with loads of fine velvety tannin, huge black cherry, and red fruits that persist through to a rich finish layered with spice. A firm core of acid and barrel spice integrate beautifully across all layers, enhancing the structure and balance of this massive but approachable wine.

The Estate vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. The vineyard gently slopes downward towards its base, where a small patch of sedimentary soil was deposited by the settling of an ancient ocean or lake. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet in color, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a little mute at this stage, offering up glimpses of crushed blackberry, red plums and wild blueberries notes with touches of pencil shavings, dried Mediterranean herbs and forest floor. Medium-bodied, it has a velvety backbone and mouth-filling red and blue fruits, finishing long and earthy.
JS 93
James Suckling
Extremely attractive aromas of asphalt, blueberry and rose petal. Full body with very well-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Montelena estate shows a refinement and balance one expects in traditional Napa cabernet sauvignon.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
This red combines a sleek, rich core of dark berry, black licorice, roasted coffee and cedar flavors with a black licorice underpinning. The texture is firm, but the tannins have a fleshy side, with a long, clean finish. Shows a more supple, graceful, accessible style of Montelena Cabernet Drink now through 2028.
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Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

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Chateau Montelena, 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.

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Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon

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One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wines. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.

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GDS129541_2010 Item# 129541