2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2011 vintage has received quite a lot of attention – for its weather and growing conditions – not all good. The Napa Valley is a wonderfully complex place blessed with a huge variety of different soils, elevations, solar aspects, and mesoclimates; to paint the entire Valley with the same brush is rather naïve. As it should given the cooler season, the Chateau Montelena 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet definitely expresses qualities of a cool vintage and the wine’s classic, Old World styling nicely complements these features. We are also fortunate in that almost all of our Napa Cabernet vineyards tend to ripen early – due to either location, dry farming, cropping levels, or a combination of factors. This means that even in the cooler, harder-to-ripen years, we can expect to see full maturity, great flavor development, and classic Montelena structure.

vintage weather

This growing season was defined by a late spring and cool summer, with a slow and cool ripening through the fall. In fact, summer never really showed up in 2011, which resulted in both a later-than-normal harvest and wines that are very classical in nature – more red fruit focused with bright acidity and great refinement.

tasting notes

The 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet shows beautiful dark garnet color.  The nose opens with big, ripe, red fruits - particularly raspberry and red currant - before moving into layers of barrel spice, anise, and warm cedar.  Entering the palate, this wine is bright and lively with good weight and tannin presence.  There is also a firm acidity that will make for great food pairings.  The mid-palate is loaded with juicy red fruit and blueberry, which are nicely complemented by well-integrated barrel notes of vanilla, sarsaparilla, and toast.

Purchase Price $53.00
Harvest Date October 1 to November 4, 2011
Blend 91.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, .5% Cabernet Franc
Barrel Aging 14 months, French and Eastern European, 27% new
Bottling Date April 2013
Release Date March 2014
Alcohol 13.4%