Chateau Montelena is most famously known for it’s involvement in the Judgement of Paris - this was a wine tasting in 1976 organised by Steven Spurrier where for the first time a lot of the new world Californian wines were picked over that of their old world contemporaries.
Originally constructed in 1888 and called the A L Tubbs winery after its founder Alfred Tubbs, the winery’s unique appearance is well known. Wine was made under family ownership until 1947 and then ceased when the property was sold.
The renaissance of this Napa property came in the 1970’ under the leadership of Jim Barrett. The vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the Chateau outfitted with modern winemaking equipment. He assembled a team to oversee the vineyard and winemaking, then grew and contracted for the highest-quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972 wines were made for the first time. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim's son Bo Barrett at the helm.
We are pleased to offer a small selection of Montelena direct from the Estate-
2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Montelena - GBP 390 IB per 3x75cl (2 cases available)
Bright red-ruby. More reserved and medicinal on the nose than the flamboyantly expressive '04, with cassis and violet aromas complicated by graphite and bitter chocolate. Very pure and silky on the palate, conveying a sexy subtle sweetness and a wonderfully complex meld of dark fruits, minerals and soil tones. The element of Cabernet Franc here adds to the wine's mid-palate lift. This bottle was distinctly more pliant than an impressive but bound-up sample I tasted three years ago in my 2005 Napa Cab horizontal but is still extremely young. As broad and silky as this wine is, it stands out today for its energy. Goes on and on on the aftertaste, with the tannins utterly seamless and integrated. My best tasting of this vintage to date, as it is finally beginning to unwind. (14.1% alcohol; from fruit picked almost entirely in October) 95 + Points Stephen Tanzer
2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Montelena - GBP 750 IB per 6x75cl (1 case available)
2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Montelena - GBP 780 IB per 3x150cl (4 cases available)
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, a re-release from the winery, is just starting to enter an early plateau of maturity where the aromas show some signs of opening up. Sweet tobacco, cedar, mint, game and licorice give the 2006 a decidedly wild, almost feral feel, in both its flavors and structural profile. 92 Points Antonio Galloni
2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Montelena - GBP 440 per 12x75cl IB (5 cases)
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Soft, fruity and easygoing, the Napa Valley Cabernet shows the mid-weight structure of the vintage nicely. In 2017, Montelena did not pick one 11-acre vineyard because of the fires, which means that the blend has a bit more Merlot than normal. That, in turn, adds to the wine's supple, forward feel. 88 Points Antonio Galloni
2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena – GBP 415 per 12x75cl IB (3 cases available)
Montelena's 2017 Chardonnay is bright, focused and tightly wound, with tons of citrus peel, orchard fruit and floral character. Medium in body, with terrific energy underpinning the fruit, the 2017 is a winner. Picking early and blocking the malolactic fermentation yields a finely sculpted, nuanced Chardonnay long on class. I loved it. 94 Points Antonio Galloni
2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena – GBP 500 per 12x75cl IB (4 cases available)
Montelena's 2012 Chardonnay has developed beautifully over the last year. Silky and generous on the palate, the 2012 is all about texture. White peach, lemon oil, spice and almond notes woven together in a very pretty, highly expressive Chardonnay. The blocked malo style keeps the flavors bright and fresh throughout. 91 Points Antonio Galloni
2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena – GBP 625 per 6x150cl IB (1 case available)
(just 10% new oak used; the winery cherry-picked the fruit for this bottling and sold off the rest in bulk): Bright yellow. Lively aromas of apple, citrus fruit, mint and licorice. Juicy and vibrant, with almost painful mid-palate cut. Still youthfully tight, but this no-malo chardonnay displays good underlying density. The persistent finish shows good cut. Clearly the product of a moderately cool growing season. Montelena's chardonnay is vinified to dryness in tank, then ages for several months in 10% new oak, on the fine lees but without stirring. I suspect this will evolve slowly. 90+ Points Stephen Tanzer
Subject to final confirmation and remaining unsold, usual lead times apply.