2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

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93 Points Vinous Media
93 Points Wine Advocate, 2015
93 Points Wine Advocate, 2007
91 Points Wine Advocate, 2008

Customer Ratings

Based on 2 ratings
One of my very favorites

This is an excellent wine. I have never been disappointed in a Montelena Estate Cabernet.

About Chateau Montelena

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Chateau Montelena

Web Site



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 2005

The 2005 vintage in Napa was one of the best of the decade, with balanced, lovely wines with plenty of depth, richness, and concentration, all balanced by lovely fresh acidity and detail. Classic, structured, and deep, they should age well for decades.

A wet winter was followed in March by a dry, mild spell, then a wet, rainy period that delayed bloom and fruit set. Rains continued into April, May, and even into June. Some parts of Napa Valley had more than 15 inches of rain after bud break, creating problems for growers. Vineyard management costs skyrocketed as the moisture spurred weed growth, and powdery mildew was a big problem.

Summer was moderate, without any real extremes of heat. The cool temperatures and foggy mornings kept ripening moving slowly, and there was some concern with sugar levels and overall ripeness as the harvest began to approach. September arrived with beautiful, warm, sunny days — and an Indian summer allowed winemakers to wait as sugar accumulated at an even pace, while keeping the grapes balanced with good acidity. It was a very late vintage and a very large crop as well, beating out the previous record set in 1997. Many didn’t finish picking until late October and even into November, but the long hang-time was beneficial and the weather held for the most part.

The resulting wines are seamless, elegant yet structured and deep, with lovely well-knit fruit and tannins. They may not have the power and ripe, plush notes of some of the other top vintages of the decade — rather, they will be known for their beautiful balance and focus. The best should age gracefully for decades to come.

Key Dates

Additional 5 inches of rain falls

Harvest for sparkling wine began on schedule

Weather was mild throughout the month, with no heat spikes of any consequence

Harvest for still wine didn’t begin in earnest until October, because of mild September weather. The main Cabernet Sauvignon harvest began in the middle of October and continued until the middle of November

A few inches over the average amount of rain

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