One of the historic wineries in Napa, Chateau Montelena was first founded in 1888 and named A.L. Tubbs winery after its founder Alfred Tubbs. Nearly 100 years later 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 was one of the landmark achievements for California wines, as French wines were typically viewed as considerably superior to California wines. Head winemaker, Matt Crafton, 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.
The two new releases from Chateau Montelena, the 2013 Cabernet and 2015 Riesling come from very exciting warm vintages in Napa. The 2013 Montelena Cabernet (WWB, 92) shows a wonderful Bordelaise feel and nice dense dark from this awesome vintage in Napa. 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
2013 Chateau Montelena Cabernet- This excellent Cabernet was aged 14 months in French and Eastern European oak (16% new) prior to bottling. It is a blend of 85% Cabernet with 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine has aromatics of pipe tobacco, blackberry cobbler, sage and mint. There are flavors of cassis, anise, coffee grounds, eucalyptus and black cherry cough syrup. This Bordelaise bottling has marvelous structure and elegance. Drink 2017-2030- 92
2015 Chateau Montelena Riesling- This pale green hued wine begins with a bouquet of green papaya, Gravenstein apple, and cut grass with lemon blossoms. There are rich flavors of crushed white flowers, unripe pear, Granny Smith apple and Meyer lemon rind. This shows an impressive minerality considering the heat of the vintage. Drink 2016-2022- 90