1993 Calistoga Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon

Our Calistoga Cuvee is a wine crafted to show the distinctive characteristics of our Viticultural Area, the Calistoga District. Known for higher daytime temperatures and colder nights than the rest of the valley, Calistoga’s higher elevations and austere soils make for excellent red wines. Those wine lovers familiar with the red wines of the Napa Valley may recognize a few of these names…Three Palms, Diamond Creek, Eiesle Vineyard, Larkmead [historical] and The Montelena Estate. All are in the Calistoga area.

The Chateau Montelena Calistoga Cuvee is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and small amounts of other black grape varieties grown in vineyards spread throughout the upper Valley. In 1990 we installed a new destemmer-crusher that allows precise tannin management via careful grape handling during the vintage. We make this wine to be nice and dark, with fully developed flavors, but we make it with the body and texture quite a bit softer, resulting in a wine that can be drunk sooner than The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

With the Cuvee vineyards scattered throughout the district the 1993 crush went on forever. We began with Merlot on September 3, and finished with the Cabernet Franc on October 5. The weather during harvest was fine with 10-15 days of outstanding ripening weather. These were days of overcast mornings and warm sunny afternoons. We had very good grapes with excellent maturation and flavors.

vintage weather

Cool. Average rainfall with some rain every month through June. Cool spring and cool weather at harvest, good fruit maturation. Crop size average, excellent flavor development.

tasting notes

The 1993 has a plumy, black cherry aroma; typical of Cabernet, it is a glass just full of black fruits. The bouquet is augmented by the addition of cedary Merlot and incense of Cabernet Franc, creating a spicy and complex profile. The color is very nice dark red garnet. Intense juicy berry and black cherry flavors follow the aroma and lead to a very rich, fat palate. Here, the wine's texture is key…supple ripe flavors and soft tannins that taste nice and feel good.

While possessing the richness and concentration for which the Calistoga District is famous, what's important for you is that the "user friendly" nature of the Calistoga Cuvee does not "demand" years of cellaring as it is made to be supple and drinkable upon release. This wine will accompany a wide variety of foods due to its lineage of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. But with its fat and happy nature, the Calistoga Cuvee can be enjoyed as an Aperitivo or with a good book by a winter fire.

Harvest Date September 3 to October 2
Barrel Aging 12 to 16 months
Bottling Date April 1995
Release Date September 1995
Alcohol 13.5%