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Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay Wine 2016

Winemaker's Notes:

Aroma: Honeysuckle, jasmine, and apple blossom along with wispy notes of vanilla and lemon balm highlight a harmony of classic Chardonnay aromas. Flavor: Green apple, candied orange peel, and baking spices anchor a panoply of vineyard flavors. Seamlessly interwoven between each is fresh, bright acidity along with incredible minerality and depth that slowly build texture and weight.

Chateau Montelena Winery:
Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He'd heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mo... Read more
Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He'd heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose – perfect for the vine cuttings he would plant. It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, christened Chateau Montelena (a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena), was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. The next chapter began with the renaissance of Chateau Montelena Winery and the Estate vineyard. 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 Barrett at the helm. The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Montelena Estate Zinfandel are grown in one of the world's most unique winegrowing properties. The Estate vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. The vineyard gently slopes downward towards its base, where a small patch of sedimentary soil was deposited by the settling of an ancient ocean or lake. Read less

Editorial Reviews for Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.00 5
Vintage: 2010 07/18/2013

Very fragrant with an early note of lychee followed by very clear and pure fruit that shows notes of lemon verbena, crushed stone and orange tinged citrus fruits over a light base of oak spice and butter. Smooth and polished on entry, this quickly gains focus and shows off a bit of a steely edge to the mineral infused crisp apple and peach flavors on the palate. the oak is very well integrated and helps frame the fruit well adding a lightly spice on the backend. Besides a little bitter spice and a touch of warmth there is surprisingly little to be found on the finish. Perhaps that will come with a bit more age. 89pts


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.50 5
Vintage: 1999 06/01/2009

This is very young and still heavily marked by oak on the nose with a fudgy quality that detracts from the rich, jammy fruit. In the mouth this has great balance with good mineral cut on the finish but the wood intrudes here as well offering a bit of bitter tannin on the finale that needs several years to resolve itself. Nothing wrong here just too young. Give this another 5 years or so and it should reveal much better definition to the fruit. 91pts.


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.00 5
Vintage: 1994 05/14/2013

Aromatically this remains coy, hinting at wood spice and licorice over a core of fine blue and black fruits. The aromatics carry over into the mouth, where this exhibits attractive spice notes over a palate that is as much about cedar and wood spice as it is about black raspberry and cherry fruit. There's a lot of dry tannin here to burn off, and there seems to be enough fruit to handle it, but it's a bit of an iffy proposition at this point based on this bottle. Based on track record, however, I expect this to pull itself together nicely by about 2018. 91 points


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.00 5
Vintage: 1992 05/14/2013

A bit dull on the nose with a hint of celery under lots of toasty spices, notes of burnt marshmallow and subtle black fruits. In the mouth this is intense and focused, and far fresher than one would guess from the nose. There's big fruit paired with big oak here, a little thick and astringent across the palate. This has a bit of a coarse edge to the rather long finish, but should still improve with time in the cellar. 91 points


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.50 5
Vintage: 1991 01/26/2010

The nose on this is youthful and complex with lots of oak spice buffered by plenty of red and black fruits with a jammy edge to them. There are lovely complicating notes of wet horse, grilled peppers, leather and chalky soil adding to the bouquet. On the palate this is surprisingly elegant and composed with a fine, layered fell and deep flavors of black currant edged with smoke and earth. The backend is still a bit hard and feels a touch extracted but the balance to allow this to continue to improve is here and I expect this can only get better. 93pts


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.50 5
Vintage: 1990 06/01/2009

This is just classic Montelena with it's notes of seared black cassis mingled with spiced oak tones and a hint of green anise seed. In the mouth it's smooth and seamless with full, ripe round tannins and gentle hints of tomato leaf and herb framing the deep black fruit tones. Lovely wine and with a bright future. 92pts


Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
1.50 5
Vintage: 1989 05/14/2013

A little oxidized on the nose, with lots of earthy, leathery, mushroomy dried-out aromas. While the palate is rich and smooth, it offers flavors similar to those found on the nose with no nuance or detail, finishing abruptly on the short finish. Probably a bad bottle. 78 points


1 2

Member Reviews for Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay Wine

Add your review
Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,748
4.50 5
Vintage: 2010 07/18/2013

Four and a half glasses


Snooth User: InWineTruth
2201061,634
3.00 5
Vintage: 2010 10/24/2012

Bright, green-gold hue with green pear and citrus; racy flavor notes of pear, green apple and lime carried to a clean & moderate finish.


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,203
3.50 5
Vintage: 2010 05/17/2013

Subtle nose of peach and citrus. Vibrant acid on the palate giving it a nice freshness. Citrus driven flavors with nice minerality and is juicy, yet crisp. 88 pts. 5/9/13 at winery


Snooth User: vin0vin0
3578087,202
4.50 5
Vintage: 2009 11/16/2012

First tried this at a tasting at the Chateau in August and ordered two bottles to be delivered. Finally arrived after the hot weather broke and the wait was well worth it. First impressions were of creamy lemon, soft grapefruit, touch of lime and extreme crispness. Fantastic balance between the fruit, alcohol and acid very much like a Grand Cru Burgundy.


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,203
4.50 5
Vintage: 2009 05/17/2013

Rich, elegant nose. Round and rich with cassis, cherry and currant fruit. Some licorice notes with creme de cassis and light camphor aromas. Richly textured wine with great structure. Approachable now, yet can easily age nicely. Round tannins. Flavors of cassis and kirsch with hints of graphite, violet and lavender. Very lush and nice. 91 pts. 5/9/13 at winery


Snooth User: grbaKKy
601103139
4.00 5
Vintage: 2007 01/23/2011

hints of blackberry... bold but very mellow.


Snooth User: kwistie
419154103
4.00 5
Vintage: 2007 12/30/2010

Long legs. Well made. Strong licorice and cherries. A good cab. Let it breathe.


1 2 3 4 5  ...  8

External Reviews for Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay Wine

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2015 03/27/2019

2015 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: As we approach forty vintages of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, there are certain values that draw together a harmony from those pioneering early wines to the dynamic, sought-after bottles we produce today. The valley has matured and we’ve endeavored to improve our offerings from the systematic replanting of our Estate vineyard, to modernizing the cellar, to becoming an industry leader in sustainability. All of these individual facets come together under the auspices of tradition and history to create delicious, age-worthy wines year after year. Nose: It doesn’t take much time in the glass to reveal the ripeness of the vintage. Dried cherries, baking spices, and vanilla intermingle with softer notes of espresso bean, pipe tobacco, and lavender. Palate: The 2015 steers toward dark fruit with plenty of blackberry jam and plums slowly yielding to intense, vibrant tannins and bright acid. A touch of smoke punctuates the midpalate revealing anise and cocoa, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Within a few moments rhubarb appears as do dried ginger and black pepper. Additional ageing time is undoubtedly necessary to reveal the potential of this wine. Finish: The finish ties both the nose and palate together with fresh raspberries, a subtle hint of mint, and incredible freshness. Vintage Weather: A relatively warm winter set the stage for another year of drought in California. Budbreak occurred early in Calistoga, increasing the risk for vine-damaging frost, but our concerns were allayed as spring proved to be mild and uneventful. As June and July arrived, the weather remained temperate providing additional hang-time for flavor maturity and color development in the fruit. As is usually the case, the light crop turned out to be of excellent quality. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 22 months, 100% French, 40% new ALCOHOL: 14.1%


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2014 12/20/2018

VINTAGE WEATHER: Budbreak did not arrive abnormally early despite the relatively warm winter and widespread concern over low rainfall.Mild weather, coupled with plenty of cool nights extended the growing season. In general, harvest was steady with no major rain events. Conditions were ideal. Nose: The interplay of cassis, vanilla, and black cherry are quite complimentary but also dynamic; shifting to fresh blueberry with a hint of tobacco. This, in turn, are buttressed by dark chocolate, mocha, and a slight suggestion of sweet oak. Palate: Silky, fine-grain tannins vie with vibrant acidity that slowly expose the rich, ripe raspberry and blackberry notes that dominate the mid palate. While the fruit is lush and mouthcoating, some patience will unveil the subtle layers of anise, smoke, and earth hidden beneath. Finish: The finish extends the density and structure as cloves and cinnamon combine with nuances of briar and flint yielding an extraordinarily food-friendly wine. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Cabernet Franc 1% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 22 Months, 100% French, 35% New ALCOHOL: 14.1%


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2013 04/06/2017

VINTAGE WEATHER: The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster for Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce just enough early stress in our vines to stimulate the development of rich texture and body, characteristic of our Estate Cabernet. The long, warm summer that followed, coupled with good yields, brought each block into balance quite quickly requiring little intervention and encouraging uniform ripening. The result is an age-worthy wine that showcases the classic balance of Old World structure and New World ripeness. NOSE: In the glass, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and a subtle hint of baking spices. After a few minutes, the bouquet opens to reveal lush aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry. PALATE: A complex interplay of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality that devoted Montelena fans will instantly recognize. The mid palate is clean and fresh with rhubarb pie, strawberry candy, and just a touch of smoky espresso that become incredibly pronounced with additional time in the glass. FINISH: The transition to the finish is seamless, and will only improve with age. Here the refreshing acidity, rounded tannin, and intense fruit vie for the spotlight. Upon release, the soft tannins seem to win out as the dense texture lingers, inviting another sip from the glass. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5% Cabernet Franc 1.5% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 24 months, 100% French, 30% new ALCOHOL: 14.1%


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2013 08/09/2018

VINTAGE WEATHER: The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster for Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce just enough early stress in our vines to stimulate the development of rich texture and body, characteristic of our Estate Cabernet. The long, warm summer that followed, coupled with good yields, brought each block into balance quite quickly requiring little intervention and encouraging uniform ripening. The result is an age-worthy wine that showcases the classic balance of Old World structure and New World ripeness. NOSE: In the glass, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and a subtle hint of baking spices. After a few minutes, the bouquet opens to reveal lush aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry. PALATE: A complex interplay of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality that devoted Montelena fans will instantly recognize. The mid palate is clean and fresh with rhubarb pie, strawberry candy, and just a touch of smoky espresso that become incredibly pronounced with additional time in the glass. FINISH: The transition to the finish is seamless, and will only improve with age. Here the refreshing acidity, rounded tannin, and intense fruit vie for the spotlight. Upon release, the soft tannins seem to win out as the dense texture lingers, inviting another sip from the glass. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5% Cabernet Franc 1.5% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 24 months, 100% French, 30% new ALCOHOL: 14.1% ** Only 2 in Stock **


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2013 07/18/2018

VINTAGE WEATHER: The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster for Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce just enough early stress in our vines to stimulate the development of rich texture and body, characteristic of our Estate Cabernet. The long, warm summer that followed, coupled with good yields, brought each block into balance quite quickly requiring little intervention and encouraging uniform ripening. The result is an age-worthy wine that showcases the classic balance of Old World structure and New World ripeness. NOSE: In the glass, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and a subtle hint of baking spices. After a few minutes, the bouquet opens to reveal lush aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry. PALATE: A complex interplay of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality that devoted Montelena fans will instantly recognize. The mid palate is clean and fresh with rhubarb pie, strawberry candy, and just a touch of smoky espresso that become incredibly pronounced with additional time in the glass. FINISH: The transition to the finish is seamless, and will only improve with age. Here the refreshing acidity, rounded tannin, and intense fruit vie for the spotlight. Upon release, the soft tannins seem to win out as the dense texture lingers, inviting another sip from the glass. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5% Cabernet Franc 1.5% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 24 months, 100% French, 30% new ALCOHOL: 14.1% ** Only 3 in Stock **


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2013 12/06/2018

VINTAGE WEATHER: The 2013 vintage was yet another blockbuster for Napa Valley. Early winter rains and dry spring weather combined to induce just enough early stress in our vines to stimulate the development of rich texture and body, characteristic of our Estate Cabernet. The long, warm summer that followed, coupled with good yields, brought each block into balance quite quickly requiring little intervention and encouraging uniform ripening. The result is an age-worthy wine that showcases the classic balance of Old World structure and New World ripeness. NOSE: In the glass, the wine displays classic notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and a subtle hint of baking spices. After a few minutes, the bouquet opens to reveal lush aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry. PALATE: A complex interplay of sweet French oak, subtle earth, and a chewy minerality that devoted Montelena fans will instantly recognize. The mid palate is clean and fresh with rhubarb pie, strawberry candy, and just a touch of smoky espresso that become incredibly pronounced with additional time in the glass. FINISH: The transition to the finish is seamless, and will only improve with age. Here the refreshing acidity, rounded tannin, and intense fruit vie for the spotlight. Upon release, the soft tannins seem to win out as the dense texture lingers, inviting another sip from the glass. BLEND: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5% Cabernet Franc 1.5% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING: 24 months, 100% French, 30% new ALCOHOL: 14.1% ** Only 1 in Stock **


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2012 06/18/2016

Nose: Extraordinarily rich notes of dried cherry, cocoa, muddled mint, and blackberry. As the wine continues to breathe, one by one subtle hints of tobacco, cedar, and perfume emerge with patience. Palate: There is considerable depth on the palate as fresh, tart raspberries contrast the rocky, earth undertones, so emblematic of our Estate, leading to a texture that is at once austere, awaiting further time in bottle, and voluptuous. Finish: After two years in oak, the tannins are wonderfully integrated with just enough toast to seamlessly transition to blueberry, cassis, and mocha on the finish. Vintage Weather: 2012 was one of those vintages that allowed us to express what makes the Montelena Estate a rarity, even in the Napa Valley. Our porous alluvial soils and craggy volcanics soaked up the late spring rains, which, coupled with copious sunshine and moderate temperatures, set the stage for an ideal growing season. By August, as most of the Valley dealt with triple digit highs, reliable northerly breezes materialized by mid-afternoon as the substantial heat inland drew in ocean air from the Pacific, which thundered down Mt. St. Helena to cool our Estate. In short, the fruit from this vintage experienced the best of what this vineyard can offer, allowing us to craft a wine of elegance, structure, and finesse.


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Aroma: Honeysuckle, jasmine, and apple blossom along with wispy notes of vanilla and lemon balm highlight a harmony of classic Chardonnay aromas. Flavor: Green apple, candied orange peel, and baking spices anchor a panoply of vineyard flavors. Seamlessly interwoven between each is fresh, bright acidity along with incredible minerality and depth that slowly build texture and weight.

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