2010 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1153903 94 points Antonio Galloni

 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.  (11/ 2013)

94 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

93 points James Suckling

 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.  (5/ 2014)

91 points 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)  (10/ 2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (5/ 2014)

K&L Notes

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 where 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."

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.