2005 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2005 growing season can be generalized as long, slow, and mild, but all the fun came in the month-to-month variations. We saw very early bud break here at the Estate, followed by limited growth due to cool temperatures and an exceptionally wet spring – especially the month of May. Even June was mild, with some rain. July finally brought much needed steady warmth, but no major heat spikes, providing a constant environment for great vine growth and berry development. Warm weather continued into early August, but then it cooled off through most of September, great for fruit ripening. Yet another heat wave arrived toward the end of September, just in time to push the Cabernet to full maturity. In sum, the weather could not have worked out better if we had custom ordered it.

93International Wine Cellar
91Wine Advocate

Good deep ruby red. Complex aromas. Impressively structured wine. Very long, pure, and powerful on the finish.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
vintage weather

Harvest occurred later than normal in 2005. Early bud break combined with the cool wet spring and mild growing season to result in nice long hang time and fantastic flavor development. The first Estate grapes didn’t come in until the last day of September, but once the flood gates opened we had a steady harvest of beautifully ripe, well balanced fruit through the end of October. We even managed to fill the winery to 100% of capacity for a day, but the already perfect weather held and we pressed on through. This idyllic season produced an Estate Cabernet with classic Montelena structure, showing tremendous depth and intensity.

tasting notes

Dark and powerful in the glass with great density and saturation, this wine grabs your attention from the first glance. Luscious and rich on the nose with great depth, we find top notes of violets, cassis, and rich dark cherry, all riding over a base of warm leather, cocoa, wet stone and molasses. The palate opens with red raspberry and blackcurrants before building to mouth-filling ripe cherry, a beautiful acid balance, and round rich velvety tannins. The incredible intensity of the palate fades slowly leaving a finish of dried fruits and hints of clove with remarkable weight and tremendous persistence.

After a special July 2010 tasting, wine journalist Laurie Daniel published her notes on this vintage: "Dark and dense, with savory aromas. Ripe, lively black fruit and firm tannins."

Harvest Date September 30 to October 27
Sugar At Harvest 25.6 brix
Barrel Aging 18 months
Bottling Date August 2007
Release Date Spring 2009
Cases Produced 10,000
Alcohol 14.2%