2017 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa ValleyCalifornia, USA
Blueberry, sage and cedar accentuate the opulence of the vintage before yielding to spicy black pepper and dried cherry. It’s an incredibly interesting contrast that’s easily identifiable now but will mellow in time. There’s an abundance of purity and freshness as the palate leans toward cool character with layer after layer of raspberry jam, cocoa, strawberry and clove. While not overly coarse, the tannins are persistent and mouthcoating, a perfect balance to the laser-focused seam of acidity that slowly yields to the stony minerality that’s typical of wine from the Estate. Polished and persistent, the finish transitions from mineral to cassis and then glides through ripe plum adorned with allspice and espresso. Delicate notes of vanilla and mint slowly come into focus leaving an extraordinarily complex and delicious experience to behold.