2008 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Some years Mother Nature throws you a curveball, but with years of practice and experience you can see that pitch coming and still connect for a home run. 2008 was one of those years where everything seemed to conspire to make life difficult here in the Napa Valley.
First, a cold and frosty spring caused a bit of damage and reduced the size of our crop. Then the heat and wind showed up right in time for bloom, which resulted in widespread shatter – again reducing the crop here on the Estate. The heart of the growing season was actually quite nice and normal, but then more heat showed up during the harvest; pushing some of the fruit to dehydration and serving up the final challenge of the season – there was a lot of movement on that ball. Despite all these challenges, 2008 produced an incredible, concentrated, and exceptional Estate Cabernet that is very representative of the vintage.
Dense, rich ruby color in the glass, this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon shows complex aromas of dark cherry, dried fruits, earth, cedar, and vanilla cream along with hints of licorice and leather. The palate opens with big, chewy tannin - firm but not coarse - and builds even bigger into a mid-palate loaded with ripe red fruits and dried black fruits. There is a good, strong acid backbone completing the balance and structure. The barrel flavors are well-integrated throughout but are best evident in the warm and spicy finish. Still quite young and powerful, this dense compact wine will open beautifully with time in bottle (or glass).
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a gorgeous, mid-weight wine laced with mint, cassis, sweet herbs and tobacco.
ANTONIO GALLONI, THE WINE ADVOCATE