As much as we love to make Cabernet Sauvignon, something that has charmed and obsessed us for 40 vintages, we also love to experiment. At Chateau Montelena, the more adventurous the experiment, the better. In that spirit, during 2010 we decided to try something totally new for us by blending and co-fermenting Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. The aim was to create wine showing big color density and in-your-face tannins, yet executed with classic Montelena styling of restraint and elegance. We got exactly what we aimed for: a one-of-a-kind palate pleaser that we are proud to offer exclusively to our CELLARMASTERS.
The 2010 vintage character was defined by a nice long and cool growing season, giving excellent hang time on the vine, with no major heat events until later in August. That combination yielded excellent flavor and tannin development without the ‘noise’ of higher alcohols and overripe flavors that you see in the hotter vintages.
Deep garnet color in the glass, with a big complex nose full of rich barrel spice, hints of leather, sweet black cherry and black currant, rounded off with a whiff of dark chocolate and anise. The palate opens soft and juicy but builds quickly with rich black fruit, spice notes of clove, cocoa, vanilla, and big firm tannin. There is a beautiful balance to the acidity throughout, wrapping up with a nice long finish of dried fruit and spice.
Cameron Parry, Winemaker
Harvest Dates: October 15, 2010
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah
Barrel Aging: 26 months, 100% French, 25% New
Bottling Date: April 11, 2013
Cases Produced: 98