Tonight’s occasion: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon by Chateau Montelena, Napa, California.
Dark opaque color. Intense, warm nose out of the bottle with notes of tart plum and slight wet wood. Swirl to intensify the plum, dark cherries leather, release, a slightly creamy butterscotch caramel and subtle red vines licorice. Terroir is fairly neutral. Expression overall is clean, somewhat modest, a mature classic Cabernet Sauvignon. I like it.
Body is smooth. Nicely balanced right down the middle, front to back. Slightly ripe plums accompanied by restrained tannins deliver a harmonious structure and integrated mouth feel with more softer than delineated transitions. Oak is almost undetectable if not for its effect of creating slightly silky mouth feel and enhancing notes of berries in this otherwise fairly dry wine. Pepper spice permeates most of the stage, eventually falling back as it opens. Body forms the bulk of the experience with a seamless transition to a restrained finish characterized by hints of cherry cola, crisp, dry, fine tannic grip and a touch of bold spice that lingers midway down the chest.
This wine has had plenty of time to integrate very nicely. After 14 years it still stands tall. I feel like this is how it was meant to be enjoyed. It’s a classic example of a Napa Cab, well built, and will like be showing like this over the next 5 or so years easily. If you have any in your cellar, now would be the time to start enjoying it.
Nicely done Chateau Montelena!