Category Archives: Wines
Now that we’re in the second week of May, the sunshine is coming out of hibernation and we’re entering “patio season” when the warmer temperatures beg for refreshingly cool wines. The longer days mean I can come home, sit on the patio and relax while enjoying a glass (or two, let’s be honest) of one of my favorite summer whites – sauvignon blanc – as I unwind from the day and catch up with some of my favorite people. These days, I just want to stock up on all the the light, refreshing wines that I can get my hands on! I call them “patio wines” because these are the wines that make patio-sipping so enjoyable and usually bring about great memories. Very soon, we’ll be releasing our own 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc which will likely become the summer wine for my house in 2011. If you’re curious to taste it, we’ll be pouring it for a patio party of our own on June 25th. So tell me, what’s the beverage that you stock up on so you can enjoy it all summer long?
Vintage 2007 of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon represents the 30th bottling of the wine that fulfills Jim Barrett’s vision for excellence in winemaking. We thought it appropriate to offer a complete horizontal, six sizes from 375ml to 6 Liter, in the E-Auction of Auction Napa Valley coming up in early June. Each bottle is signed by Jim Barrett, and by Master Winemaker Bo Barrett. A cool add-on is that the case holding all the wine is constructed with reclaimed redwood removed during the renovation of the Private Residence in the Chateau. You can view the lot description here. One lucky bidder will get this treasure. Do you think we should make more for sale here at the winery? What do you think the auction lot will go for?
Recently I’ve had quite a few people ask me what is my favorite vintage of Montelena Estate Cabernet.
One of the great things about working at Montelena is that, as an employee, I’ve gotten a chance to taste almost ever vintage of Estate Cabernet since we started making it in 1978. I’ve definitely tasted all the way back to 1983 and I think I’ve tried a few of the even older ones as well. And, when I tell people this, they always ask me which one is my favorite. My gut response is that they are all great wines. But, I do have to admit that I have a few favorites – vintages that I think are truly exceptional. So far, my two favorite vintages are the 1998 and the 2002; in my opinion, these are the best wines we’ve made. But, I also always wonder, what you think.
What is your favorite vintage of Montelena Estate Cabernet? I would love to know.
Recently, the famous actor Jeremy Irons visited us as part of a British documentary project. Who was the lucky guy that hosted him? Our own Dave Vella, because the whole subject of the upcoming feature is about sustainability, and Dave is our resident guru on that subject. Catch Jeremy Irons on the current Showtime series “The Borgias” – catch Dave and Jeremy Irons on camera in a future Blenheim Films documentary about sustainable farming – we’ll let you know when the film is released.
Okay I am going to go out on a limb here but I think this is an interesting topic and I would love to hear from other wine folks. Music can be a big part of your life just like wine. It is a part of celebatory events, moments of solitude as well as times of focus during work, (working out, cleaning house, working on projects). Like wine, your choice in music depends on your mood and the event. I am curious if certain music enhances your wine experience? So here is a scenario:
You are on your weekend and decide to have a glass of Chateau Montelena and listen to music. What music do you gravitate to? And what Montelena wine do you drink?
Oh by the way - For those of you who have an iPhone, here is a link to a free app that does just that – pairs wine with music. The app is called Wine DJ. http://www.winedj.com/
Mark your calendars for a grand, online celebration on May 26, 2011! It’s that time of year again – the day that we celebrate all things #Chardonnay (and it’s just 2 days after the 35th anniversary of the 1976 Paris Tasting). You can participate in the online conversation by Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging, tumbling or using any other form of social media with the hashtag #Chardonnay. Share fun facts about your favorite Chardonnay, taste virtually with your online friends or ask questions to learn more about this wonderful wine.
If you read George’s recent post on the subject of vintage, you might be interested to see the entire vintage of 2007 – the current release of Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – through the “eyes” (as it were) of one particular vine. Life of a Vine presents a monthly summary, in three installments, of what actually transpired that year. Take a look.
For me I like it with an Irish beef stew. But will always go for a glass on its own. What is your great pairing with this wine?
We’re pleased to announce that Slocum & Sons is now distributing our wines in Connecticut!
For more information, visit our distributors page.
Have you ever tried our Riesling? If so, hopefully you can back up my blog. If not, you’re missing something special. When we do have it in stock (only about 1600 cases made; sold out in December), we have it in our tasting room lineup for tasting. A lot of people see our flight, and say, “you know, let’s just skip the Riesling.” After insisting they try, 9 out of 10 are amazingly surprised! It’s not the sweet, boring wine that gave Riesling a bad rap over the past 30 years. Germany, France, Austria, and even Australia have been making some wonderful off-dry Rieslings the rest of the world has appreciated far more than us Americans.
Well, mark your calendars! We release the 2010 Riesling in May, and after previewing it, this stuff is gonna fly out of our tasting room. The good news: we made more. The bad news: only 300 cases.
You can get the Riesling: at the Chateau, if you’re a club member, from some of our select restaurant and hotel accounts, or at our tasting room at the St. Francis in San Francisco. Perfect Summer wine (assuming we have a “normal” warm Summer here!); don’t let the initial press on 2010 as a vintage fool you. More on that next week.