Chateau Montelena Winery

Chateau Montelena
Photo Via: Montelena.com

Chateau Montelena Winery is a famed winery located in California. The winery is known for producing old world wines with new world fruit, which results in gorgeous terroir driven wines. The King Varietal in Napa Valley is of course, Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Matt Crafton has upheld his vision as well as the Chateau Montelena vision and is taking this varietal back to its roots. Matt joined the Montelena team in 2014 where one of his first wines from harvest to bottle is the 2014 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet!

The wine label is iconic and instantly recognizable for those who know and love this winery. Those interested in visiting the property while out in California wine country, you can absolutely do so at Chateau Montelena. This is one of the most peaceful settings in Napa, with a stone castle built into the hillside, overlooking gardens, a lake, and the vineyards. You can also see the base of Mt. St. Helena.

This year I was fortunate enough to taste through quite a few Chateau Montelena wines which I fell in love with. These wines are perfect for any time of year, and if you’re seeking something special to sip I absolutely recommend picking up a bottle or two sometime soon.

“The farmers who got it right, are the ones that are still around today…”- Montelena.com

2016 Chateau Montelena Potter Valley Riesling- Yes, a riesling from California! Not so shocking, but what is pretty great is how much everyone will enjoy this wine. This wine is a crowd pleaser and will entice even the pickiest of palates, as well as it pairs beautifully with a wide range of foods. This incredibly versatile grape varietal makes this wine ideal for beach days, bbq’s, sushi, and more. This wine has a fresh nose of rose and orange blossom followed by mango, honeysuckle, and stone fruits. On the palate you will notice lemon curd, pineapple, and a balanced freshness between the acidity and subtle sweetness. $27

2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon-  The 2014 vintage was great and this classic Napa Valley wine has a nose of juicy blackberries, cocoa, and cassis. You will also notice some tobacco, floral, and dried cherry notes that are very attractive. On the palate this wine is complex and layered with expressive flavors of raspberry, hazelnut, and figs. This wine spends 16 months in oak and has a long finish. Pair this wine with light bbq fare or something heartier during the upcoming fall season. $58

2014 Chateau Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel- This was the first time I have ever had the zinfandel by this winery and was very happy when I tasted it. It could absolutely benefit from some aging, however right now its uniquely different and also spends 16 months in oak. This wine can easily pair with grilled vegetables and has a striking nose of cocoa, tobacco, and red fruits. Its nose is very “old vine zinfandel” with fresh cranberry flavors followed by subtle hints of baking spices and earthiness. The tannins are well balanced and the finish is long. $29

2013 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon- The Calistoga Estate for the past 45 years has been carefully tended to, with passion and dedication that has been able to consistently produce age worthy, quality driven wines. 2013 was another great vintage and this wine is exceptional! This year the winery is rolling out eco friendly packaging for the Estate Library Program, as well as new sleek packaging with built in tasting notes and a vineyard map. This wine makes a great gift for the California wine lover in your life, with it’s new look, striking aromas, and complex flavors on the palate. The wine spends 24 months in 100% French Oak (30% new), which gives the wine a beautiful smokey espresso with rounded tannins and a lingering finish. $160

Whether you’re seeking some new California wines to try with an old world style, or just simply want to sip some fabulous wines with dinner, Chateau Montelena has a wine for you at varying price point levels. It is most certainly on my bucket list to visit this incredible and iconic winery, and hopefully it will be one on yours too!

 

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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