2004 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • ciesel wrote: 86 points

    February 10, 2020 - Not the finest effort from this estate.

    1 person found this helpful 1,114 views


  • oldwines commented:

    2/10/20, 7:38 PM - Did you give this a long decant? It really needs it. I have had nearly every vintage of Montelena Estate Cab and its precursor like the 1974, which was made from purchased grapes, over the past 30+ years. In my experience they need extensive decanting. Minimum 3 hours and sometimes 5-8 hours. This is definitely not a modern, ripe, extracted “cult style” cab. It is a more elegant, old school Cali cab, more “feminine” than powerful. The bottles I have had so far from a case, some of which will be gifted to my daughter who was born in 2004, have been excellent. So, I think, either the style is not your favorite, or it needed a longer decant or the bottle was flawed or poorly stored somewhere along the way... if you have more I would suggest trying the longer decant. Good luck!

    “oldwines” aka Dave

  • ciesel commented:

    2/11/20, 2:17 PM - Oldwines, by way of background I am definitely not a fruit bomb (Parker) kind of wine drinker. I prefer wines with nuance, balance, and complexity. My favorites are Piemont and Burgundy wines. In general, I don't care too much for Napa Cabs because they don't fit what I described above. While my experience with CM doesn't go back as far as yours I had and have quite a few of their wines (was a member of their futures club). The reason I bought their wines is they were more "old world" in style and in line with what you describe. This wasn't my first bottle of the 2004. It was the fourth one and in my opinion it has failed to be worth the price, has not evolved and I have decanted them for extended time and this one just doesn't live up to the label. This was not a good effort on their part for whatever reason. When we open a CM from our cellar it is met with excitement. Not this one.

  • oldwines commented:

    2/11/20, 3:09 PM - Thanks for the insight, I appreciate all the details. It is curious however since those of the 2004's I have had have been quite good. While I now source directly from the winery as well, I do not recall the source of the 2004 in my cellar, which I know I got on release but it was before I started using CT...I know there were some issue with TCA and brett in and around the 2001 vintage release (later expanded to include the 1997-2003 vintages) which Jim and Bo Barret were quite embarrassed about and did a massive winery clean-up, but I am not sure when that finished...and whether the 2004 vintage was also affected to some degree. Myself, I have not really had an issue with any bottle from my cellar of Ch. Montelena being clearly flawed. I will admit to liking a hint (or more) of Brett occasionally in a good Cab/Bordeaux however... I also notice some variability in Pro reviews of the 2004 too...Oh well, time will tell, I hope you have better bottles of your 2004 that remain. Cheers!

    All the best,


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