The 2015 Estate Cabernet showcases the classic balance of Bordeaux structure and ripe California fruit that Chateau Montelena is known for. 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.
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a brilliant wine and one of the gems out there from this estate. It offers crème de cassis, crushed violets, purple iris, and white flowers, with beautifully integrated background oak. It’s deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and seamless, with fine tannins, truly brilliant purity of fruit, and a great, great finish.”
97 points, JebDunnuck.com, Jan 2019
“A powerful, intense wine, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Montelena exudes depth and textural richness, all with the tannic and structural underpinning that is such a signature of the Montelena Cabernets. Black cherry, plum, lavender, licorice, and smoke build as this voluptuous, racy Cabernet shows off the natural radiance of the year. Although the 2015 has quite a bit of density and raciness, it also retains considerable freshness. This is another drop-dead gorgeous wine from Chateau Montelena. 2023-2040.”
96 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2018
“Medium to deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate reveals vibrant cassis, crushed black plums and black raspberries notes with hints of fallen leaves, damp soil, cedar chest and charcoal plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied with plenty of lively, crunchy black and red fruits, it has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and a long, youthful finish with the oak still standing out slightly. Give it another 2-3 years in bottle and drink it over the next 25-30+. 2020-50.”
95+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2018