1999 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga Cuvee Napa Valley

1999 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga Cuvee Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

89 Points Wine Advocate, 2002
89 Points Wine Advocate, 2000

Napa Valley 1999

Napa’s 1999 was a slow-paced, cool growing season with very few heat spikes, which allowed a long hang-time for flavors, sugars, and tannins to come into perfectly balanced ripeness. If growers picked too early, instead of waiting it out in the long, dry Indian summer condition for the grapes to slowly come to maturity, or failed to crop thin and balance fruit loads for the cooler conditions, the vines struggled to get to perfect physiological ripeness, leaving a little flavor on the table and imparting a hard edge to the tannins. The best wines — and there are many outstanding wines in this cool, compact yet powerful vintage — are structured, concentrated, and focused, with the tannins and depth to age for the long haul.

The spring was cool and lingering, followed by a mild summer with a significant hot spell in early July. The weather warmed up again in late September as the harvest was underway. There was very little rainfall from April through October, resulting in concentrated, small berries. The long, cool season kept acids bright and fresh, and there is something to the argument that this was a more “European” styled vintage in the best sense of the term.

Solid, compact, structured wines, with somewhat Bordeaux-like interplay between power, structure, fruit, acidity, and elegance — the best of which should age well for a decade or two at least.

 

Key Dates

May
Scattered showers and hail over Memorial Day Weekend (North Coast)

June
Heavy winds and coldest recorded temperatures to date

July
Lowest accumulated temperature for in a quarter century

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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