1984 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chateau Montelena's wines possess gorgeous potential when young, and are even better when revisited later. The 1984 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits the forward, jammy, cassis, and other black fruit character of the vintage, marvelously rich, full-bodied, concentrated flavors, high extract, gobs of glycerin, and moderate tannin in the finish. Its virtues - purity, richness, and opulence - along with a firm underpinning of tannin, should serve it well for another 10-15 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very good dark red, not as fresh as the '85. Slightly high-toned aromas of redcurrant, cooked plum and tar; woodsy and burnt notes. Sweet entry, then fairly mature but still fresh flavors of smoke and earth. Opens slowly. Finishes with somewhat rustic tannins and lovely sweetness. Very California Cabernet.
Impressive for its youthful vitality and complex flavors, it's definitely on the downside, but displays more fruit complexity than most from this vintage. Hints of cedar, currant, sage and dusty berry carry through nicely on the finish, though like most 1984s, it's still quite tannic and likely to be so in the future.--California Cabernet '74/'84/'94 retrospective. (Web-2004)