Dark and powerful in the glass with great density and saturation, this wine grabs your attention from the first glance. Luscious and rich on the nose with great depth, we find top notes of violets, cassis, and rich dark cherry, all riding over a base of warm leather, cocoa, wet stone and molasses. The palate opens with red raspberry and blackcurrants before building to mouth-filling ripe cherry, a beautiful acid balance, and round rich velvety tannins. The incredible intensity of the palate fades slowly leaving a finish of dried fruits and hints of clove with remarkable weight and tremendous persistence.
93 points, Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar:
"Good deep ruby-red. Complex aromas of currant, licorice, graphite, bitter chocolate, smoked meat, tobacco and brown spices. Began juicy, penetrating and quite youthfully unevolved, but aeration brought a suppler, rounder texture and more generosity to this impressively structured wine. Complicating notes of bitter cherry, menthol and minerals. This will require a good eight to ten years of aging but the substantial tannins are sweet and lush. Very long, pure and powerful on the finish." (June 2008)
91 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate:
"A lovely perfume of fresh herbs, loamy soil, black cherries and black currants. Spicy and very Bordeaux-like in this vintage. Should drink well for two decades or more."(Dec. 2008)
90 Points, Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast:
"Quite rich and exotic, with complex, appealing flavors of cocoa puff, mocha, buttered cinnamon toast, blackberry granola and smoky cedar. This richness finishes drily, but the wine is very tannic, giving it a lock-down astringency. Needs time. Best after 2011, and through 2015 or so." (3/1/2010)
3 Stars, Decanter:
"Ripe and developed. Great intensity. Balanced and elegant with lots of acidity. Vanilla and spice notes. Great and will age." (Jan. 2009)
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (an 8600-case cuvee made from yields of 1.98 tons of fruit per acre) is considered to be one of the great California wine producers. The wine boasts a saturated inky/purple color as well as extraordinary density of fruit and cassis and huge tannin body and extract. It is a substantial palate-staining long muscular Cabernet that should only be purchased by connoisseurs with cold cellars as well as patience. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon remains one of California's most remarkable Cabernets. I have been following it since the early seventies read more...and even the most difficult vintages are still drinking beautifully. (hide)
Wine & SpiritsRevealing sweeter tannin and a softer, riper, fuller-bodied style, the 2006 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a beautiful, classic wine with loads of berry fruit, an earthy character, and a spicy, pure, rich finish. The silkiness of the tannins suggest this 2006 will be drinkable in several years. It is another candidate for nearly two decades of aging. Chateau Montelena's sale to the owners of Bordeaux's well-known second-growth, Chateau Cos d'Estournel, fell through, no doubt because of the global economic crisis. It was unquestionably shocking that this Napa icon was on the block, and about to be sold to, of all people, the French, who Montelena had defeated in the famous Steven Spurrier tasting of 1976. Tasting through the wines with the ever reliable Bo Barrett is always a lesson in candor and honesty.