1986 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet - 750ml

1986 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet - 750ml

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1986 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet - 96 pts!
Chateau Montelena is one of the most prominent Napa Valley wineries. It was directly associated with bringing international recognition to the California wine industry through the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Based in Calistoga, it is famous for its varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines.

Chateau Montelena's real success came in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, where its 1973 Chardonnay was deemed the best of a lineup of top wines from California and France. The top red wine, the Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, was also from California.

The victory upset the French dominance of the wine industry, catapulting California producers onto the international stage, and opening the door for New World producers. The tasting was covered in Time magazine by George Taber, who went on to write a book about it titled Judgment of Paris, which in turn inspired the 2008 movie "Bottle Shock."

Despite its claim to fame with Chardonnay, the flagship wine of Chateau Montelena has actually been its Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It was born in the early 1980s, when the estate vines had matured enough to start producing quality fruit. After fermentation in stainless steel, it is barrel-aged in a series of tunnels and caves beneath the winery for up to 22 months. 

Product Details

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 1986
Rating RP96
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location North Coast
Producer Montelena Chateau
Color Red
Wine Type Table

Robert Parker

Robert Parker RP96 - What a remarkable performance! I must admit that I purchased more of the 1985 and 1987, somehow neglecting to secure much of the 1986. Do I feel stupid? As I have written so many times in the past, every time I do a vertical tasting of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignons, they taste better than my initial laudatory notes suggested. This great wine exhibits a black/purple color, a fabulous, sweet, pure, cassis-scented nose, massive body and richness, and total harmony among its components - fruit, wood, alcohol, acidity, and tannin. Still exceptionally youthful and vigorous, with no signs of age in either its color or taste, this 1986 could easily pass for a 3-4 year old California Cabernet. It is an extraordinary effort that appears to be a legitimate candidate for the "wine of the vintage." So what's new? Owners of this beauty should try a bottle for its pure, glorious richness, but this wine has 15-20 more years of delicious drinking. A bodacious Cabernet! 

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 1986
Rating RP96
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location North Coast
Producer Montelena Chateau
Color Red
Wine Type Table

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