Every once in a while, nature serves up the proverbial “pitch down the middle.” Everyone remembers fondly the
wines from 2005 or 2013 when quality was simply there for the taking. ˜at was the case with 2019. Amusingly,
as a winemaker, our favorite vintages are typically those that follow a Hollywood-esque storyline with unforeseen
challenges, plenty of character development, and of course final victory. With that said, it is just as gratifying to hit
that pitch out of the park if the opportunity is there. Moreover, while it’s true that every vintage builds character,
growing seasons like 2019 beget gratefulness and reflection in reminding us why Napa Valley in general and the
Montelena Estate vineyard in particular are so special. In short, this vintage exemplifies all of the characteristics
that one could seek in delicious, age-worthy wine.
˜e growing season began cold and wet, typically the harbinger of a late vintage. However, by mid-summer, abundant
warm weather had settled in, resulting in very “normal” timing for harvest. Given the plentiful yields, it wasn’t
a surprise to experience a divergence in ripening across di˝erent soils and clones. ˜at’s to be expected and can be
quite beneficial when handled correctly. ˜ankfully, the weather during September cooperated and despite a few
periods when patience was necessary, harvest proceeded smoothly and successfully.
Pure and powerful, this wine opens with fresh blueberries, blackberry pie and cassis. endlendless dark fruit is complemented by a range
of baking spices: vanilla at first, but also clove and cinnamon.
The first sip instantly reveals the character of this Cabernet: dense and chewy with bright red fruit, incredible tension and pure, fine grain tannins. Not only is everything in its place; but the layers of flavor, the depth of the fruit and the sublime texture are constantly rearranging. Each glass will be a unique experience.
In contrast to the dynamic palate, the finish is focused and stout. Abundant cocoa, espresso bean and black pepper dovetail into dark, black fruit while tart raspberry and strawberry jam linger.
September 21 – October 17
91% Cabernet Sauvignon
16 months in French and Eastern
European oak, 28% new
BOT TLING DATE