By Kori ~ November 21st, 2011.
Chateau Montelena Winery, located in the Calistoga District in California’s Napa Valley, propelled onto the world stage during the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris. At the competition in Paris, four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. The French judges awarded the top honor to Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay. It was a remarkable triumph and showed the world that California wines had come of age. The story of the competition was depicted in the 2008 film Bottle Shock, some of which was filmed at Chateau Montelena.
Founded in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs, Chateau Montelena was non-operational from the early 1900’s until 1972 when Jim Barrett purchased it. Barrett restored most of the original vineyards and completely refurbished the winery. At the time of the purchase, Jim’s son, Bo, had just graduated from high school. He has been involved ever since and was named winemaker in 1982. Today, his official title is Master Winemaker. Cameron Parry joined the winemaking team at Chateau Montelena in 2004 and was named winemaker in 2008. Cam now manages all of the winemaking operations under Bo’s direction. Chateau Montelena produces 35,000 cases annually.
Recently, we had the opportunity to taste the current release of their 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in a blind samples tasting. It is excellent and indicative of the quality wines that Chateau Montelena continues to produce.
2008 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, California): 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep red in color. Nice nose with blackcurrant and oak aromas. Blackcurrant, black cherry, oak, and leather come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, chewy tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $49; Available elsewhere, $35 to $50
Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Wines Over $25