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Chateau Montelena 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Magnum

Price: $259.00
SAVINGS: 16%
RETAIL: $310.00


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This deal ended 3319 days ago


Soft & round with a velvety texture layered with dark fruit, smoke, tannins, and oak

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One of the historical attributes of the Montelena Estate Cabernet has always been its age-ability and longevity; often though, this meant that the wine really needed to be cellared before it would show its true beauty. At Montelena they’re all about the pursuit of excellence, and have been working to expand that window of drinkability through careful changes in how they farm, pick, and ferment the grapes from this magnificent property. By focusing on precision viticulture techniques, small fermentation lots, and earlier integration of more precisely chosen barrels – matched to the unique characters of each lot – Montelena has been able to make the wine more approachable at a younger age, while retaining the core elements that ensure a long life in the cellar. The only problem…you may need more of it.
 
The Season
Starting out with fairly typical spring weather, the growing season in 2009 was defined by the cool summer, with no major heat waves all season. Any warmer weather was immediately followed by a long cool period. The effect of all of this was slow and steady ripening with long hang time and a later than average start to the harvest. The heat did eventually show up in September, just in time to kick that final ripening stage into gear.
 
The Vineyard
The Estate vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. The vineyard gently slopes downward towards its base, where a small patch of sedimentary soil was deposited by the settling of an ancient ocean or lake. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting.
 
This diversified soil profile results in aromatic, rich and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, characterized by the unique earthy-berry flavor that is the Montelena Estate. Our decades old Zinfandel vines, planted in volcanic soil, combined with our 10 year old vines in alluvial soil, produce a wine with a spicy, ripe berry flavor.
 
The Process
The wines produced by Chateau Montelena are handcrafted in the Chateau Montelena cellar by their dedicated winemaking team. The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit. To achieve this goal, Chateau Montelena use modern crushing, de-stemming and pressing equipment to process the grapes as gently as possible. The Montelena team then use temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to allow the wines to ferment slowly and evenly. Once fermentation is complete, the wines are transferred to small, French oak barrels to begin the aging process. Chateau Montelena uses a combination of new barrels along with older, neutral barrels to ensure that the natural flavors of the grapes are not masked by oak. After blending and bottling, the wines receive enough aging time prior to release so that they can be enjoyed right away or laid down to mature for years to come.
 
The Experience
One look at the dense crimson ruby color and you know that this is a big wine.  The nose opens with big black cherry, currants, and plum spice cake notes.  Underpinning all that fruit are layers of smoke, anise, and very subtle oak tones.  The palate entry is soft and round, but builds quickly with loads of fine velvety tannin, huge black cherry, and red fruits that persist through to a rich finish layered with spice.  A firm core of acid and barrel spice integrate beautifully across all layers, enhancing the structure and balance of this massive but approachable wine.
 
The Facts
Varietal Composition: 98.25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.75% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Barrel Aging: 22 months in 100% French Oak, 34% New
Harvest Date: September 16 to October 27, 2010
Bottling Date: December 2011
Release Date: Spring 2013
Case Produced: 7,104
Alcohol: 13.8%
HISTORY
Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He had heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck, and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose - perfect for the vines he would plant.

It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, christened Chateau Montelena (a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena), was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. Winemaking at the Chateau came to an end with Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed, the Tubbs family continued to harvest the vineyard, making some wines and selling grapes to other wineries and home winemakers. The Tubbs family sold the winery in 1958, at which time the Chateau and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank, who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. The Chateau inspired Frank to excavate a lake, with landscaping to reflect the Chinese gardens of his homeland. Today, Jade Lake is considered one of Napa Valley's most beautiful sanctuaries, home to a variety of fish and wildlife, and surrounded by weeping willows and native fauna. The next chapter began with the renaissance of Chateau Montelena Winery and the Estate vineyard. Under the leadership of Jim Barrett, the vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the Chateau outfitted with modern winemaking equipment. He assembled a team to oversee the vineyard and winemaking, then grew and contracted for the highest-quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972 wines were made for the first time. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim Barrett at the helm.

WINEMAKING
The wines produced by Chateau Montelena are handcrafted in the Chateau Montelena cellar by their dedicated winemaking team. The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit. To achieve this goal, Chateau Montelena use modern crushing, de-stemming and pressing equipment to process the grapes as gently as possible. The Montelena team then use temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to allow the wines to ferment slowly and evenly. Once fermentation is complete, the wines are transferred to small, French oak barrels to begin the aging process. Chateau Montelena uses a combination of new barrels along with older, neutral barrels to ensure that the natural flavors of the grapes are not masked by oak. After blending and bottling, the wines receive enough aging time prior to release so that they can be enjoyed right away or laid down to mature for years to come.
 
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 93+ pts
"Montelena’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate wraps around the palate with serious depth. Even with all of its intensity, the 2009 has a silkiness that makes it incredibly delicious at this early stage. Red berries, flowers, tobacco and sweet herbs all flesh out on the generous, radiant finish. While many 2009s are a bit tight today, Montelena’s 2009 Estate is showing very nicely, although it is keeping some cards close to the vest. I imagine the 2009 will start to enter its prime drinking window around age 8-10 and drink well for at least another decade beyond that. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.

Chateau Montelena’s 2010 Cabernets are among the highlights in this set of new releases, although the 2011 Chardonnay is pretty terrific as well. Bo Barrett credits his experiences in 1987 and 1988 as a big reason he was able to handle the stresses of the 2010 vintage, in particular the late season heat spikes that gave growers fits. It’s great to see this historic property making wines that live up to its reputation. A recent bottle of the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate was also superb." - Antonio Galloni

Wine Spectator - 87 pts
"Tight, intense and focused, this has a Bordeaux-like austerity, with a crushed rock and cedar overlay. Featuring a dense if murky mix of leafy berry, dried herb, sage and tobacco leaf. Best from 2014 through 2022. 7,104 cases made." - J.L
Aging Potential: 15-20 Years
Alcohol By Volume: 13.8%
Appellation: Napa, California
Barrel Type: French Oak
Body: Full
Color: Dark Purple
Flavor Pairing: Tomato Base, Spicy Asian, Herb Roast
Food Pairing: Steak, Seafood, Salmon, Lamb
On the Nose: Spicy, Smoky, Plum, Oak, Currant, Black Cherry
On the Palate: Tannins, Oak, Black Cherry
Serving Recommendation: Cup Glass in Hand to Warm Slightly
Texture: Velvety, Acidic
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

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