The 2014 Estate Cabernet showcases the classic balance of Bordeaux structure and ripe California fruit that Chateau Montelena is known for. The final blend is composed almost entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon (97%), with the rest being a tiny quantity of Cabernet Franc (2%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The wine went through an extensive 22 months maturation in 100% French oak (22% new) that developed complexity and softened the firm tannins that are characteristic of Cabernet Sauvignon 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 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