LCBO Vintages Release
The wines at Chateau Montelena are often described as having classic “old-world” structure with ripe California fruit. In years like 2013, this description holds true. These wines tend to have more acid, lower pH, and more moderate alcohol levels compared to some flashy “modern” Cabs. This classic chemistry allows them to pair very well with a variety of dishes, and sets them up for graceful ageing. The beauty of the style is that you get all the wonderful ripe flavours that California is known for, but with more expression of place, and less noise and distraction from high alcohol and overwhelming new oak.
The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster in Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce just enough early stress to the vines, which carries through as rich texture and body in the Estate Cabernet. A long, warm summer followed, producing good yields and uniform ripening.
The final blend combines 85.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 0.5% Petit Verdot. The nose is rich, with blackberry jam, vanilla, and allspice yielding to dried plum and coffee bean. The palate is deceptively soft up front, with strawberry and raspberry immediately apparent. These flavours become more concentrated as tannins and acidity come into focus. The finish is elegant and balanced, drawing in bright acidity and a chalky minerality. Chateau Montelena fans will find the complexity, elegance, and Old World – New World balance they’ve come to expect.
“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, fleshy and seductive, but also light on its feet and gracious. Black cherry, plum, rose petal, smoke, tobacco, licorice and cedar are some of the signatures. Classic and medium in body, this tasty Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon will drink well with minimal cellaring. Because of its mid-weight structure, Montelena’s Cabernet is one of the more approachable wines of the vintage, not to mention a real beauty. 2017 – 2025”
91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Oct 2015