1994 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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!
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.
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.