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Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
The 1999 growing season was dominated by cool weather, then the last week of September really warmed up and we were able to allow the fruit to attain maximum maturity and ripeness before picking. Because we had a very small crop, the cool year and excellent ripening weather combined for optimal conditions. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon tonnage was similar to 1996, only 1.8 tons per acre. Not much there, but man was it great! The finished wine has an inky deep color. You can taste the great ripeness in the glass as dense and spicy Cabernet-cassis. The telltale Montelena terroir is evidenced by warm gravel, moist earth, a hit of mint from the volcanic hillsides and loads of ripe black fruits. The palate profile has very bright front and middle flavors with intense Montelena earthy berry fruit, classically balanced with good acid from the cool vintage, all flowing evenly to a smooth and elegant tannin structure. This is a perfect example of the rich fruit of the Montelena Estate vineyard tightly woven into a classic Cabernet Sauvignon with balance and elegance.
The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (an 8,600-case cuvee made from yields of 1.98 tons of fruit per acre) is considered by Bo Barrett to be a "great" year. The wine boasts a saturated inky/purple color as well as extraordinary density of fruit and cassis, and huge tannin, body, and extract. It is a substantial, palate-staining, long, muscular Cabernet that should only be purchased by connoisseurs with cold cellars as well as patience. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
Beautifully crafted, dark, rich and polished, with a tight beam of blackberry and currant fruit that's sharply focused and tightly wound. Turns supple and finishes with a long, lingering, fruit-propelled finish. Excellent structure for aging. Best from 2005 through 2016. 6,500 cases made.Score: 94. —James Laube, November 15, 2002.
International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Very pure, perfumed aromas of cassis, redcurrant, black cherry, bitter chocolate, minerals and tobacco; shows none of the herbal, minty quality of the '98. Powerfully structured, primary and fresh, with firm acidity; real essence of Napa Valley cabernet. Very long, palate-staining finish features firm but perfectly buffered tannins. This will develop slowly and be long-lived. A potentially great vintage for this wine.Score: 92-95. —Stephen Tanzer,
All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
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