1994 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #300678 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which has been closed since bottling, has just begun to open and display its enormous potential. The saturated black/purple color is followed by aromas of gorgeously pure blackberry and cassis scents. Toasty oak notes are barely discernable given the wine's bombastic display of black fruits, huge, chewy glycerin level, and sensational finish. It will be exciting to follow the evolution of the 1994 and 1995. Modern-day society seems to always be in search of new stars, but this winery has been a super hero for great California Cabernet Sauvignon for nearly 25 years! Montelena's Estate Cabernet Sauvignons are equivalent to buying blue chip stock. They get better and better with age and as the vertical tastings I have attended so persuasively attest, they are still relatively young wines at 20 years of age!  (12/ 1998)

95 points Wine Spectator

 This is a smooth, rich, dark and polished Montelena--in short a grand wine--with remarkable depth, richness and concentration. The purity of currant, mineral, black cherry and anise is deliciously focused and the tannins are ripe and supple, making this a very approachable wine, even at this stage.  (11/ 2004)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Deep, complex, perfumed aromas of black cherry, redcurrant, plum, tar and loam. Lush, velvety and very intensely flavored, with strong extract and lovely ripe acidity giving the fruit excellent delineation. Full, rich, sweet.  (8/ 1998)

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Price: $169.99

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By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/19/2009  | Send Email
This is a decadent Napa Cabernet - luscious, rich and very full bodied. For me, Montelena Cab is the best of the big valley floor style, and the 1994 is a very rich example of an already decadent style. This has the glycerin and weight of the cult Cabernets, but is much more vinous, focused and food friendly. I have had the opportunity to drink this on several occasions, and the latest bottle, served with some simply grilled Porterhouse steaks, was the best I have had yet. This 1994 makes a great gift, because it is drinking well now, yet will cellar, and comes from a big name that over delivers on the wine in the bottle.
Drink from 2009 to 2019

 By: Adam S. |  Review Date: 5/8/2011 
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I want to lie about how good this is, so I can keep the next shipment of 1994 Montelena to myself. I bought a bottle on Gary's recommendation. Vanilla, cherries, and a lucious mouthfeel. A beautifully structured wine with a 60+ second finish. I will order as many bottles as I can next time it's in stock.

Please note that I decanted for about an hour, but after being open for about 3 hours, the structure began to weaken considerably.
Drink from 2010 to 2011

Additional Information:

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.