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 2014 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.
“A total knock-out, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate captures all the potential of this great site. Powerful, voluptuous and structured, yet very much within the context of classicism that has defined these wines for several decades. Dark red cherry, stone fruits, smoke, licorice and scorched earth, along with beams of tannin, wrap around the palate. Deep, virile and explosive, the 2014 is a must have. Don’t miss it! 2022 – 2034”
95+ points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Dec 2016