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What’s your favorite vintage?

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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.


  1. Connor I haven’t had the chance to taste as many vintages as you so I can only speak to what I’ve tasted. I first tasted Chateau Montelena when I had a 1979 in a restaurant about 30yrs ago. I won’t count that because I don’t have any notes, but I was impressed enough that I still have the bottle. I started collecting with the 1995 vintage but haven’t touched any of the 2002-2007 vintages which are tucked away in our cellar. So that leaves 1995-2001 as the universe of my Montlena vintages. Of those, 1997 and 2001 are my clear favorites with 1998 close behind. My ‘bucket’ list of older vintages I want to taste includes ’83 ’87 ’91 and most of all, 1994. Cheers!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:12 am | Permalink
  2. Fred…That’s a great story and you have an impressive library. Invite me when you do your grand vertical tasting :-) !

    May 4, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

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George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors

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