1994 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

1994 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

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95 Points Wine Advocate
95 Points Wine Spectator, 2004
95 Points Wine Spectator, 1999
91 Points Wine Spectator, 1998

Customer Ratings

Based on 3 ratings

Very very smooth. Enjoyed at Buckheads in Richmond - thanks, Don

About Chateau Montelena

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Chateau Montelena

Web Site

http://montelena.com/

Ownership/Management

James P. "Bo" Barrett

Area Under Vine: 120 Hectare

Wines Made: Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Montelena, Estate Zinfandel, Potter Valley Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc

Terroir: For example, nutrient levels and water holding capacity vary greatly among the three soil origins that comprise the Estate vineyard: volcanic, alluvial, and sedimentary. These areas are, in turn, crisscrossed by 5 different classified soil types: Bale, Cole, Cortina, Pleasanton, and Kidd. Add a topographic variation, like an elevated hillside or a level valley floor location, and you have a three-dimensional decision matrix. Once we understand each particular site, we can proceed to sustainable grape growing.

Napa Valley 1994

The 1994 vintage was the type of year California winemakers would take every time if they could — a long, mild growing season nearly free of extremes of temperature or rainfall. The good conditions resulted in beautiful, ripe, and powerful wines with superb concentration, depth, richness, and balance. Twenty years on, the best are still in their prime.

One of the only minor concerns was during a period of hot weather in early August that caused some uneven clusters at veraison, but the problem was solved by careful crop-thinning to remove them. As harvest approached, beautiful Indian summer conditions settled in, prolonging hang-times and allowing the grapes to achieve fantastic levels of physiological ripeness. A tremendous year of classic, powerful yet balanced wines that have stood the test of time.

Key Dates

March
Bud break off to a late start, but days were sunny and dry

May
Snowstorm hit North Coast late in the month, and hail in Napa Valley; no damage, because flowering had not occurred yet

September
Heavy rains (Carneros and Central Coast)

August
A two-week period of hot weather at the beginning of August created some uneven coloration during veraison, and growers compensated by thinning fruit to allow only the best grapes to reach maturation

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