Why Buy: Last year, on the occasion of Chateau Montelena's 50th anniversary, Forbes wrote that it was one among a handful of Napa Valley producers that "have achieved legendary status—names that aren’t just indicative of the highest levels of grape growing and winemaking, but that have become, in many ways, synonymous with American wine in general." Hear, hear – we couldn't agree more. And we're proud to be able to bring you these two titans from their portfolio – the 99-point 2019 Estate Cabernet and the 94-point 2009 Estate Cabernet. Though they were produced ten years apart from one another, these gorgeous, age-worthy releases share a common denominator, namely, the consummate craft and artistry that is the long-standing Montelena signature.


What They're Saying: Decanter hailed the 2019 vintage, in a stirring 99-point review, as "well-endowed with impressive depth and concentration, particularly evident in the mid-palate which is weighted by crushed stones and earthen minerality." The decade-earlier vintage, the 2009, moved Vinous to call it a wine of "noteworthy refinement and savory intensity, with fresh, harmonious acidity" and "excellent depth" that "finishes with very suave tannins."


The Story: Working from their patch of earthly heaven near the base of Mount St. Helena, winemakers Bo Barrett and Matt Crafton take an almost zen-like approach to their craft – they don't impose a stamp on their wines or force them to adhere to a house style. What they do is, they listen – to the terroir, and to what that particular harvest has yielded, and they make their wines accordingly, never pushing back against what nature gives them. Each wine, therefore, speaks of place, of time, in the most organic, effortless way possible. In the vineyard, they pay close attention to levels of ripeness, being vigilant to avoid the over-ripeness that results in heavy, jammy wines. Their estate Cabernets are their flagship, and in them we see what this naturalistic, patient approach brings: world-class power, strength, and beauty.


Our Tasting Notes:

The 2019 vintage: There's a remarkable concentration of fruit here, and, to their immense credit, the winemakers have framed that concentration, so that the intensity here exists within a clearly-defined form. You'll find this push-pull throughout the drinking experience: the power that is met with finesse, the undercurrents of oak and spice that are balanced by elegance and charm. A soaring and majestic Cabernet. 

The 2009 vintage: Aged for 22 months in French oak (slightly over 1/3rd new), this opens with a fusillade of big black fruits, smoke, and oak. From there, and unexpectedly, it modulates into a wine of enveloping softness and roundness, with waves upon waves of rich velvet carrying you to the long, savory, lightly spicy finish.


What to Pair Them With: Standing rib roast; prime rib with horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding; juicy grilled tomahawk steaks; lamb chops with thyme and mustard.


ABV: 2019 vintage, 14.1%; 2009 vintage, 13.8%.


Fun Fact: Montelena's enduring claim to fame is that, at the legendary Judgment of Paris, in 1976 – the event that put America, and, more specifically, Napa Valley, on the winemaking map – a bottle of its Chardonnay beat out its French counterpart.


Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so rest assured: your wines will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Secure your order today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2024. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in KS, KY, MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Monday, January 1st, 2024.