2005 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon at age ten is still a young, vibrant, dense ruby/purple -colored wine with lots of classic cassis fruit and a touch of earth undertones. It offers relatively soft and silky tannins by the standards of Montelena, but they’re there. It is full-bodied, rich and impressive. Cabernet Sauvignon from the northern end of the Napa Valley in Calistoga tends to be the St.-Estèphe of Napa. This wine is certainly one of the great ones. Forget it for another 3-4 years and drink it over the following 20-25. 93+ Points (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Medicinal aromas of cassis, black cherry, crushed stone, graphite, bitter chocolate and herbs. Wonderfully fine-grained but very tight, even a bit herbal and hard-edged today. The wine's strong herb and mint notes may still harmonize with its brisk black fruit flavors. Conveys a strong impression of vinosity and acidity but this very backward 2015 is not a sweet or fleshy style. Finishes edgy and unevolved, with slightly elevated acidity and a firm tannic spine to support an extended life in bottle. 92+ Points (ST)
*** Cellar Selection *** Quite rich and exotic, with complex, appealing flavors of cocoa puff, mocha, buttered cinnamon toast, blackberry granola and smoky cedar. The richness finishes drily, but they wine is very tannic, giving it a lock-down astringency. Needs time.