2013 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 375 ml

Year: 2013
Appellation: Calistoga, Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 96
Vinous Media: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.1%
Price :
$59.95
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"An aromatically compelling red, this unfolds to reveal layers of dark berry, chalky earth, sage, tobacco and cedar flavors before clamping down tightly on the finish, yet the fruit pushes through. Best from 2021 through 2033.–JL" (WS)

"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate opens with profound black and red currant cordial notes over an undercurrent of Indian spices, chargrill, scorched earth and bay leaves. Medium-bodied with wonderful intensity and depth in the mouth, it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and compelling freshness, finishing long and layered.

The iconic Gothic stone winery now known as Chateau Montelena was originally built by Alfred Tubbs in the 1880s. It was purchased by Jim and Judy Barrett in the early 1970s. The property came with around 100 acres of vines, but rather surprisingly, there was no Cabernet Sauvignon planted. At that time, it was believed that Calistoga was too warm to produce high quality Cabernet, and so the Estate vineyard was mainly planted to Zinfandel and Rhône varieties. In 1972 and 1974, Jim Barrett grubbed up a lot of the old vines and began planting Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, the Cabernets produced in 1974 and 1975 were prototypes, using purchased fruit from Sonoma, Alexander Valley and Napa Valley, until the Estate vineyard began to come online. 1973 was the first vintage that Jim’s son, Bo Barrett, helped with on the estate, and today he remains in charge as CEO and master winemaker. “We used a lot more acid back then,” Bo Barrett commented, “than we do now. I think you can still taste a bit of stems in these early wines too. It was around 1990 that we got a new destemmer.” In fact, his comment explains the slightly tart, disjointed acid on the 1974 and 1975 vintages as well and the somewhat rustic/astringent nature of the tannins prior to 1990.

These wines were tasted in January 2018 as part of a historical tasting of five decades of Montelena wines. All the wines were poured from magnums." (WA)

"Montelena's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is unctuous, deep and concentrated. A wine of gravitas and power, the 2013 possesses remarkable textural richness, with a demi-glace like sweetness that is unusual for this wine and that lends an exotic feel throughout. The tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit, but they are very much present. Patience will be key. Iron, smoke, tar and licorice are some of the many notes that infuse the voluptuous finish." (VM)

"Winemaker Matt Crafton embraces the winery's longstanding tradition of elegant Napa Valley Cabernet in this estate wine-a beautiful expression of exotic, savory characteristics wrapped in a seamless texture. Tomato leaf, meat and soy notes underscore deep layers of black pepper, black cherry and cassis, with grippy, dense tannins. Enjoy 2023–2033." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Nose:
In the glass, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and a subtle hint of baking spices. After a few minutes, the bouquet opens to reveal lush aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry.

Palate:
A complex interplay of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality that devoted Montelena fans will instantly recognize. The mid palate is clean and fresh with rhubarb pie, strawberry candy, and just a touch of smoky espresso that become incredibly pronounced with additional time in the glass.

Finish:
The transition to the finish is seamless, and will only improve with age. Here the refreshing acidity, rounded tannin, and intense fruit vie for the spotlight. Upon release, the soft tannins seem to win out as the dense texture lingers, inviting another sip from the glass.