The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.
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.
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.
Winemaker's Notes: Our 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex and layered expression of California Cabernet. The wine has a dark garnet color and is bursting with fruit even as it is poured. On the palate, it has an extraordinarily rich attack, a satin texture and an exuberant expression of fruit on the mid-palate that comes from picking grapes at the peak of their ripeness. Given proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2032.