2001 Cali Cab horizontal (Montelena Estate, Pride, Dunn Howell Mountain, Seavey)

Monterrey, Mexico

Tasted March 8, 2012 by hcampana with 380 views


Two of my good friends flew in from Kansas City to visit with my wife and I, so I planned a series of wine drinking events to host them like they deserve. For tonight I picked my currently favored steakhouse and brought four 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons to compare their evolution at 11 years of age. I ordered family style with a to-die-for 50 ounce Cowboy Ribeye steak, Aregntinean Vacio and several other cuts and salads.

Flight 1 (4 notes)

2001 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
From 750 ml bottle. tasted non blind. Tight as a drum. Not very open or forthcoming. It is even more shut down in the palate where very dry tannins dominate the mouth impression. I am unsure if the quality of tannin is mature enough so as to let the fruit escape in the future. This was the least favorite wine of the night and obviously in need of further bottle age. 90+
2001 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
95 points
From 750 ml. Not tasted blind. This wine had very tough competition tonight, but prevailed in the eyes of 2 of our tasters. This is a full to medium bodied wine that has no sensation of heaviness. Despite its obvious concentration, it retains a beautiful elegance that is very appealing. Mostly dominated by black fruit spectrum, it shows a lot of purity and length. Tannins are sweet and non obtrusive. A beauty. Impossible to pick a winner tonight.
2001 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
95 points
From 750ml bottle. Tasted non blind. In the nose it has a deep core of very pure black fruits and a touch of cedar. This was the most concentrated wine of the night. Still tannic, but the tannins are very ripe so as to not impart an overy drying sensation. This is an excellent wine that is riperthan all other wines tonight, and made in a more hedonistic style than the 2001 Montelena & 2001 Dunn Howell Mountain. Simply excellent. Impossible to pick a winner tonight.
2001 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
95 points
From 750 ml bottle. Tasted non blind. After the 2001 Montelena Estate & the 2001 Pride Cab, I thought this wine would be doomed. I was wrong. It is as compelling as those two wines, and surprisingly, more in the restrained, elegant line of the Montelena than the ultra ripe, flamboyance of the Pride. Pure, deep, elegant but full bodied and long. What a great wine this is. The rusticity often associated with Dunn is nowhere to be seen.


It is obvious the 2001 Napa Valley vintage was stellar for Cabernet Sauvignon. Quality has been very consistent for all styles of wines. Wine makers could pick their grapes as leisure in their pursuit of their desired stylistic direction. Aside from the shut down Seavey, the other 3 wines performed equally well. It was impossible for me to pick a winner. It was a great night of old stories and teasing. This is what wine brings to humanity, and I greatly appreciate it.

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