One of my favorite wineries to visit is the gorgeous Chateau Montelena, located in calsitoga, inthe northern part of California's Napa Valley. The winery and grounds are beautiful. And that seems appropriate, because so are the wines produced there.
Bo Barrett is into his 41st year at Chateau Montelena and, along with winemaker Cameron Parry they take an artistic approach to winemaking, comparing it to "crafting a beautiful sculpture." Says Parry, "Every day, we challenge ourselves to improve and explore new techniques, taking what nature gives us each year to create a balanced, structured and refined Cabernet."
Well, that's precisely what the Montelena winemaking team has done with 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($46.99). This is a new release that I got to sample and it is tremendous. A long, mostly cool summer resulted in grapes that were fully mature and balanced, with low sugar levels, perfect for making the type of lower-alcohol, ripe, well-structured Cabernet that Montelena is so well known for. Elegant.
There's a hint of anise on the nose, followed by spice and cherry-blackberry notes. Velvety tannins accompany hints of clove and vanilla from oak-barrel fermentation. The wine is young but ripe, very quaffable and simply wonderful.