2010 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is immediate, juicy and expressive in this vintage. At the same time, it seems pretty clear that the 2010 needs at least a few more years in bottle. Today, it is a bit disjointed as it is neither primary, nor showing too many tertiary notes or complexity. Sweet tobacco, leather, licorice, menthol and spices emerge over time, but the 2010 is a wine built for the cellar. There is plenty of density, but it needs time to emerge.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Deep, complex nose offers cassis, blueberry, mocha, espresso, menthol, bitter chocolate and tobacco. Densely packed and vibrant, with layered, seamless flavors of cassis, licorice and minerals. Shows an almost chocolatey ripeness yet retains outstanding verve. This chewy, superconcentrated wine finishes with ripe, pliant tannins and outstanding length and mineral reserve. Should be long-lived. 94(+?) points.
Extremely attractive aromas of asphalt, blueberry and rose petal. Full body with very well-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Montelena estate shows a refinement and balance one expects in traditional Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Better in 2016.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Chateau Montelea’s flagship wine, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Montelena Estate possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as beautiful black currant and blueberry fruit, soft tannins, medium to full body, and a harmonious, supple mouthfeel. This classic, old style California Cabernet has been tweaked somewhat as evidenced by its sweeter tannins and more upfront fruit. Enjoy it over the next 15+ years. (RP)
This shows a more supple, graceful, accessible style of Montelena Cabernet, combining a sleek, rich core of dark berry, black licorice, roasted coffee and cedar flavors with a black licorice underpinning. The texture is firm but the tannins have a fleshy side. Offers a long, clean finish. Drink now through 2028.
Dating back to the 1880s, Chateau Montelena is one of the most important estates in Napa Valley. Its modern era dates back to the first wines that Jim Barrett made in 1972, and the rest is certainly history. The diverse terroir of their Calistoga AVA property is paramount to the profile of their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2010 is a vintage in which terroir reigns supreme. The vineyard features volcanic and alluvial soils sloping gently down toward the Napa River. From proprietor Bo Barrett, speaking of the expression of this Estate Cabernet from the cooler 2010 vintage: "There are 3 kinds of growing seasons: cool, warm, and 'just right'. Cooler vintages, in particular, exemplify the truly exceptional nature of this piece of land - the grapes receive the prolonged hang time that is ideal for flavor development without getting any excess heat. These conditions enable us to craft classic, Old World-style wines that showcase the incredible fruit our estate produces."