Originally founded in 1888 and named A.L. Tubbs winery after its founder Alfred Tubbs, the winery was initially intended as a barrel-aging facility. Fast forward to the '70s, in 1976 the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was judged against four white Burgundy wines. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won the Judgement of Paris, being voted the top wine of the tasting. This landmark achievement was shocking at the time, as French wines were typically viewed as considerably superior to California wines. The winemaking team currently uses sustainable and organic farming methods to promote the health of the soil and ultimately preserve the land's productivity. For example, instead of using chemical pesticides for pest control, they grow cover crops and release ladybugs into the vineyard to keep the pests at bay. Head winemaker, Matt Crafton Matt joined Chateau Montelena in 2008 as Assistant Winemaker after graduating from UC Davis and serving as an intern at Etude Wines. In 2014 he promoted to head winemaker in 2014.
The two new releases from Chateau Montelena, the 2012 Chardonnay and 2012 Cabernet come from a near perfect vintage in Napa. The Chard was balanced and lively, done in the Napa style, while the Cabernet was delicious and ripe right out of the bottle, unlike some other ’12 Napa Cabs that need more time to develop. I was impressed with both efforts that keep up the fine tradition of Montelena winemaking. Look for these great wines at Northwest wine shops such as Esquin, Met Market and Total Wines, or online at http://montelena.com Here are the great new releases from Chateau Montelena #chateaumontelena
2012 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay- The 2012 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay opens with lively aromas reminiscent of lemon zest, brioche and white peach. This possesses a wonderful mineral driven core, leading to flavors of Meyer lemon, banana, vanilla cream, Gravenstein apple and Bartlett pear which cascade through the wine. This is a beautifully layered and complex Chard, with a lasting finish. Winemaker Matt Crafton aged this wine 10 months in French oak (10% new). (Drink 2015-2022) $40.00
2012 Chateau Montelena- The 2012 Montelena Cabernet is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged 14 months in French & Eastern European Oak (16% new). It opens with aromas of red bell pepper, dill, blackberry and milk chocolate. This leads to flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black olive and cloves. Lovely mouthfeel and mineral backbone. Done in the open style, this is approachable right now and is delicious right out of the bottle. (Drink 2015-2025) $45.00