2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
If nothing else, most of us can appreciate the differences, at least in practice, between classically and modern-styled wines. There’s no doubt that these terms are oversimplifications of reality, a binary hearkening to a more simple, nostalgic time. Our minds yearn to simplify the complex, which is why there’s comparatively little active discussion, but typically puzzled looks, over arguably one of the most important virtues in wine and winemaking: restraint. Restraint may seem counterintuitive given its physical connotation, but it’s undoubtedly one of the hallmarks of Montelena wine. It pushes us to focus on the details, to concentrate on purity, understatement, and the fundamentals, which amusingly, are manifested in the glass as complexity of flavor and the development of the wine during ageing. It’s choosing the right color for subtlety rather than simply more colors to paint with. And it’s the understanding that every component of that vintage, from the craggy hillsides to the gravelly alluvium, has to be at its very best and contribute to a wine that is much greater as a whole than the sum of its parts.
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2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay
Paradoxically, the “easy” or “straightforward” vintages can be the most difficult for me as a winemaker.View Details