1994 Chateau Montelena "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #300678 95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Ideal weather (warm days, cool nights) made this a superb vintage in Napa. Before 1994, almost all the grapes came from alluvial soil; this blend includes 10 percent hillside grapes from volcanic soils, which contribute to its perfumey nose, intense concentration and power. This is a serious step-up in complexity. Expressive and harmonious now, it has the structure to last. One of my three top wines in the tasting. (EM) Inner quote mark (6/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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. (JL) Inner quote mark (11/2004)

94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Good dark red with virtually no sign of amber. A distinctly dark style of Montelena, conveying a medicinal cast to its aromas of black fruits, minerals, licorice, violet and mint. Fresh, pure, juicy and penetrating but not hard, with its dark berry, black cherry, cedar and anise flavors displaying an element of rocky minerality--and less earthiness than most earlier vintages. This savory, classically dry wine will expand further with more cellaring (or give it some time in a decanter if you can't wait to open a bottle) and should last for another 20 years. This was the first vintage of the Chateau Montelena Estate that included a major contribution from vines on fractured volcanic bedrock planted north of the winery up the canyon in 1989 and 1990. According to Bo Barrett, these vines are irrigated but the fruit shows similar chemistry in terms of pH to the vineyards closer to the winery, which are mostly on alluvial soil. A superb showing--and I suspect there's even more ahead for this wine. (ST) Inner quote mark (5/2019)

93 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Medium to deep garnet-brick in color, the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers up relatively elegant black and red cherry compote, chocolate box and dried herbs notes with a waft of tilled soil. The medium-bodied palate features muscular fruit supported by firm tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing on a savory note. (LPB) Inner quote mark (2/2018)

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Price: $199.99
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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

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