Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
|Region||California, Napa Valley, Calistoga|
When you talk about vintages at Montelena, they are often categorized as "hot" or "cool." Then occasionally there are years like 2007 which, because of their ideal conditions, earn the tag of "Goldilocks" because everything was just right. Warm spring conditions led to earlier than normal bud break, while the moderate temperatures in summer and early fall further extended the growing season, resulting in long, slow ripening with fantastic flavor development and near-perfect juice chemistries.
Medium red. Cherry, redcurrant and floral aromas are complicated by a whiff of soil. Offers good sweetness and breadth to its spicy, bright red fruit flavors. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins and a hint of mocha. The fruit is mostly from Game Farm Vineyard in Oakville, which McMahon says features "rocky Tuscan soil."
Deep garnet colored, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a very slowly evolving nose of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, vanilla pod and smoked meats with touches of dried Provence herbs, cedar chest and cloves. Medium-bodied, plush, rich and generously fruited in the mouth, it has a wonderfully spicy character and long baking spice and black fruit-laced finish.
Good dark red. Musky nose combines blueberry, black raspberry, cedar, licorice pastille, chocolate, mocha, licorice, sage and wild herbs, along with a lightly resiny quality. Supple, spicy, dry and classic, showing lovely lift and depth to its rather primary blueberry, licorice and spice flavors. The wine's high-pitched floral quality and its resiny spice tones nicely perfume the middle palate and finish. With its enticing lift and light touch for the vintage, this is just about ready to drink, but I suspect it will continue to gain in weight and thickness with further cellaring.
International Wine Cellar
Not a wine for drinking now or anytime soon. It's so hard in tannins, it basically locks down the palate, and the astringency seems to accentuate the acidity and dryness. However, there is a deep core of blackberry essence and, after all, this is Montelena. All indications are that it will be a terrific wine in another 8 or 10 years.
I am loving the intense currants, mint, eucalyptus, and blackberries in the nose. Reminds me of a Lynch Bages or Mouton. Full bodied and chewy, with lovely fruit and round velvety tannins. The finish is packed with some serious fruit, but this could still use some time.