2015 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1346400 92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley release from Montelena has a beautiful bouquet that just jumps from the glass. Lovely notes of crème de cassis, violets, tobacco, and orange blossom all give way to a ripe, medium to full-bodied, sweetly fruited Cabernet Sauvignon that shows the charm of the 2015 front and center. It will keep for 10-15 years.  (3/2018)

92 points Vinous

 Montelena's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is gorgeous. Pliant and supple, the 2015 offers notable density and raciness in an up-front style that will drink well upon release. Succulent red/purplish fruit, spice, new leather and licorice are front and center. A wine of total allure, the 2015 hits all the right spots. Best of all, at $62 a bottle it is one of the best values readers will find in Napa Valley Cabernet. Don't miss it. (AG)  (1/2018)

K&L Notes

Chateau Montelena is one of the most prominent Napa Valley wineries and was directly associated with bringing international recognition to the California wine industry through the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Winery Notes: "The nose; Fresh raspberries tee off a parade of red fruit punctuated by rich strawberry jam, and bolstered by vanilla, black pepper, and violets. On the palate there's a latent weight and density with fine-grained tannins that have just begun to slowly integrate with the rich, dark fruit of the vintage. On the finish, the texture and mouthfeel of the wine build which strikes a fine balance between the subtle acidity lingering just below the surface and the concentration of the fruit and tannins. The weather in 2015 was highly conducive to producing ripe, concentrated wines. Warm, dry conditions catalyzed an early start to the growing season, while a temperate spring coupled with the effects of the multi-year drought limited our yields in the vineyard. Summer temperatures remained manageable as August heat materialized just ahead of harvest."

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Price: $49.95

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/1/2018 | Send Email
Brand new from this Napa Valley icon, the 2015 Cab is simply delicious, super accessible, forward and open-knit. Quite perfumed, floral, with fresh-picked blackberries, liquored cassis, subtle vanillin oak and warm earth. Medium-bodied, with ripe, smooth tannins and moderate acidity. Drinking beautifully upon release but will no doubt provide plenty of pleasure down the road as well.

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.
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.
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.