Chateau Montelena takes a great deal of pride in the stewardship of their estate vineyard. It’s a reminder that even at the highest level, wine is rooted in agriculture: the relationship between the farmer and his field is a partnership, and human involvement is an integral part of terroir. When we consider what makes a site’s essence, it’s easy to forget the hands that plant the vines, amend the soil, and prune the canes. Chateau Montelena’s long history of classic wines is proof that success isn’t a sprint, but a single leg in a multi-decade marathon.
The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster in Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce a little early stress on the vines. A long, warm summer followed, yielding fruit with rich texture and body characteristic of the Estate Cabernet.
The result is an age-worthy wine that showcases the classic balance of Old World structure and ripe New World fruit that Chateau Montelena is known for. The final blend is composed almost entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon, with only a tiny quantity of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. On the nose, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and subtle baking spice. It opens up to lush blackberry and toasty cedar. On the palate, Montelena fans will recognize the complex interplay between layers of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality – a Montelena signature. The mid-palate is clean and fresh: rhubarb, strawberry, and smoky espresso. The finish is seamless, with refreshing acidity, intense fruit, and rounded tannins that will only improve with age.
“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.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2016
“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.”
94 points + Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2017