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About Chateau Montelena
Chateau Montelena has produced wine in the Napa Valley for over 100 years. But only since 1972, when the Barret family took over management, has quality taken off. Overseeing the production of roughly 36,000 cases annually, winemaker Bo Barret produces classic, austere Cabernet Sauvignons as well as Zinfandels and Chardonnays.
91-94 Points | International Wine Cellar , May/June 2010
(includes 1.5% cabernet franc) Good deep ruby. Lovely lift and purity to the aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Juicy, vibrant and intense; less dense than the 2007 but more perfumed in the mid-palate. Very fine-grained wine, finishing long and aromatic, with firm tannic bite and a late note of bitter chocolate. "Two thousand eight was an impossible year to make 15% wines with a 4.0 pH in Napa Valley," said Bo Barrett, adding that "it's more fun to be working in the classical world. In 2008, there's less jam to block the terroir and minerality of the vineyard. Due to all the sunlight, we made cabernet jam in 2007, but the vineyard influence shows more clearly in 2008 and 2006." The estate purchased some small tanks for this vintage and thus the team was able to pick with more precision. Barrett also told me he backed off on the pumpovers, relying more on delestage (rack-and-return) for cap management.
92 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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