Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley 1997

  • WA
  • WS
  • IWC

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The resulting wine is pretty much what we experienced all along. It is highly extracted and is really built for the long run with the balance we always seek, and will probably be very youthful on release. When tasted for these notes I gave it a good slosh of air to open it up, and for the first few years a good decant or opening it well ahead of time will be a good idea. There is the trademark Montelena earthy, berry fruit, smoky and rich with many subtleties. On the palate it has a big juicy front, a very full texture and many layers of flavors in a rich cross section of fruit and terroir. In summary it is the mother of all nineties Cabs and a great example of the Montelena Estate vineyard from an excellent vintage. As we have aptly demonstrated from wines like our 1978, this tasty wine has the right stuff to provide you decades of reward.

Actual bottle from our inventory is pictured. These bottles are in excellent condition, from their original case and all fills are into the neck. All bottles are as good or better than the bottle pictured. To see other wines currently available from this producer, please click the link with the name of this producer underlined above, just to the right of "Producer."


  • Wine Advocate

    Robert Parker
    December 2000
    98 There are 10,200 cases of the remarkable 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Opaque purple-colored with a dense, chewy, full-bodied personality, it displays abundant cassis, mineral, and earth notes. This brilliantly made, super-concentrated, pure, blockbuster possesses sweet tannin as well as a terrific finish. Having added additional weight since last year, this sumptuous, multilayered, profoundly concentrated Cabernet contains 14% alcohol. It is a candidate for 25-30 years of longevity. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030.
  • Wine Spectator

    James Laube
    October 31, 2000
    95 This California Cab serves up lots of ripe, supple black cherry, currant and plum-laced flavors, as well as pretty touches of earth, anise and mineral. Turns smooth and supple, finishing with polished tannins. Best from 2001 through 2015. 11,700 cases made.
  • International Wine Cellar

    Stephen Tanzer
    May 2000
    93+ Good deep medium ruby. Very complex nose combines cassis, black cherry, plum, smoked meat, dark chocolate, Cuban tobacco and a hint of menthol. Youthfully unevolved and primary yet broad and pliant; offers impressive texture and stuffing for a young Montelena cabernet. Superripe hints of smoked meat and leather. Finishes with very lush tannins and strong dark berry flavor. The pH here is higher than average, an indication of the thorough ripeness of the vintage. The yield in this generous year was a reasonable 3.1 tons per acre, which Barrett described as huge. Still, this appears to be an outstanding vintage for this classic Napa cabernet.