1981 Montelena Estate Zinfandel

The extremely high temperatures during the late spring and early summer of 1981 caused the earliest harvest ever recorded at Chateau Montelena. Cabernet and Chardonnay were being picked as early as August 29th. Because of this early harvest and related conditions, the Zinfandel crop was very low. But happily, the extremely low yield offset the short growing season to give us grapes with proper varietal concentration and adequate physiological maturity.

The wine exhibits a medium garnet color and bears the characteristic aroma of Zinfandel?a subtle, fragrant ménage of blackberry, cherry, and roses with a sweet, earthy spice of a good Zinfandel vineyard. The rich fruit flavors are enhanced and lengthened by a nice acidity however, which will insure added enjoyment over the next two to five years.

The wine has all of the special characteristics we look for in a Zinfandel, lots of fruit with rich complexity and unsurpassed enjoyability unique in the world of wine, and present only in pure California Zinfandel.

vintage weather

Cool variable. Dry year. Extreme heat waves in June but cooler in late summer. One of the shortest growing seasons on record. Low yields, very concentrated wine.

tasting notes

The wine exhibits a medium garnet color and bears the characteristic aroma of Zinfandel?a subtle, fragrant ménage of blackberry, cherry, and roses with a sweet, earthy spice of a good Zinfandel vineyard. The rich fruit flavors are enhanced and lengthened by a nice acidity however, which will insure added enjoyment over the next two to five years.

The wine has all of the special characteristics we look for in a Zinfandel, lots of fruit with rich complexity and unsurpassed enjoyability unique in the world of wine, and present only in pure California Zinfandel.

Harvest Date September 7
Sugar At Harvest 24.0º brix
Barrel Aging 12 months
Bottling Date May 1983
Release Date March 1984
Alcohol 13.5%