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Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Red Wine
Winemaker Notes

Every once in a while, nature serves up the proverbial “pitch down the middle.” Everyone remembers fondly the wines from 2005 or 2013 when quality was simply there for the taking. at was the case with 2019. Amusingly, as a winemaker, our favorite vintages are typically those that follow a Hollywood-esque storyline with unforeseen challenges, plenty of character development, and of course final victory. With that said, it is just as gratifying to hit that pitch out of the park if the opportunity is there. Moreover, while it’s true that every vintage builds character, growing seasons like 2019 beget gratefulness and reflection in reminding us why Napa Valley in general and the Montelena Estate vineyard in particular are so special. In short, this vintage exemplifies all of the characteristics that one could seek in delicious, age-worthy wine.

Vintage Notes

The growing season began cold and wet, typically the harbinger of a late vintage. However, by mid-summer, abundant warm weather had settled in, resulting in very “normal” timing for harvest. Given the plentiful yields, it wasn’t a surprise to experience a divergence in ripening across different soils and clones. that’s to be expected and can be quite beneficial when handled correctly. thankfully, the weather during September cooperated and despite a few periods when patience was necessary, harvest proceeded smoothly and successfully.

Winemaker Tasting Notes 

NOSE Pure and powerful, this wine opens with fresh blueberries, blackberry pie and cassis. The endless dark fruit is complemented by a range of baking spices: vanilla at first, but also clove and cinnamon.

PALATE the first sip instantly reveals the character of this Cabernet: dense and chewy with bright red fruit, incredible tension and pure, fine-grain tannins. Not only is everything in its place; but the layers of flavor, the depth of the fruit and the sublime texture are constantly rearranging. Each glass will be a unique experience.

FINISH In contrast to the dynamic palate, the finish is focused and stout. Abundant cocoa, espresso bean and black pepper dovetail into dark, black fruit while tart raspberry and strawberry jam linger.

The Winery

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. Based in Calistoga, the winery is famous for its wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in particular. . Its history began in 1882, when the site of the modern winery was bought by Alfred L. Tubbs. Tubbs built the eponymous chateau and created the A.L. Tubbs Winery in 1888, and by 1896 it was the seventh-largest wine producer in California.

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