Montelena's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate wraps around the palate with serious depth. Even with all of its intensity, the 2009 has a silkiness that makes it incredibly delicious at this early stage. Red berries, flowers, tobacco and sweet herbs all flesh out on the generous, radiant finish. While many 2009s are a bit tight today, Montelena's 2009 Estate is showing very nicely, although it is keeping some cards close to the vest. I imagine the 2009 will start to enter its prime drinking window around age 8-10 and drink well for at least another decade beyond that. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
This 4 Bottle Sampler contains one bottle each of the following wines:- Russian River Chardonnay 2011- "Four Hearts" Chardonnay 2010- Russian River Pinot Noir 2011- "Land's Edge" Pinot Noir 2011
Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years.
"The 2009 Dominus flows from the glass with layers of highly expressive fruit. The wine possesses stunning richness, power and depth. Dark red fruit, tobacco, flowers and spices are woven into a seamless, beautifully articulated finish. Elegance and intensity are in perfect harmony here. This is a thrilling wine from Dominus. The blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. Rating: 97+"
A fresh floral, violet aroma mingles with plum and currant in the nose. On entry, the wine is supple with pleasing richness and density that leads through the midpalate. Warm clove spice, sassafras and a touch of vanilla complement nuances of toast to deliver a complex mix of flavors and texture in the mouth. The wine finishes long and satisfying with dark berry fruits, cassis and chocolate.
The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.
The full-bodied, powerful, pure 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is another outstanding effort revealing notes of spring flowers, toasty oak, creme de cassis, licorice, and graphite. One would have to go back to the 1990, 1991, 2001, or 2002 to find a Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve this impressive. The 2007 should evolve for 20-25 years.