1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

98 Points Wine Advocate
95 Points Wine Spectator

Napa Valley 1997

The 1997 vintage was one that had Napa growers smiling from ear to ear. They brought in a large crop of excellent quality, with 144,000 tons harvested compared to an average of 121,000 tons over the preceding decade. The optimum growing conditions over the summer and through the harvest produced wines that are superbly concentrated, dense, rich, and powerful yet balanced.

The growing season got off to an early start with bud break coming a month early in the warm late-winter and spring conditions. The vines seemed to shrug off a little rain that fell in early June. The summer was warm but not too hot, with one heat spike in early August, followed by moderate to cool temperatures, to slow ripening. September conditions were excellent — the grapes had a long period of ripening without any heat spikes, allowing growers to wait to pick at optimum ripeness. It is one of the greatest vintages of the decade, with wines that are firmly in their prime today. They have incredible extract, depth, and structure, with solid, dense fruit centers to match.

Key Dates

February
Early bud break, due to dry spring

June
Unexpected rain had little to no effect

May
Flowering

About Chateau Montelena

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Chateau Montelena

Web Site

http://montelena.com/

Ownership/Management

James P. "Bo" Barrett

Area Under Vine: 120 Acres

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.

About Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon Facts

Flavor Profile

Full, tannic wines with notes of blackcurrant and cassis

Food Pairings

Grilled red meats, stews, hard or rich cheeses

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