TN: 1996 Chateau Montelena, The Montelena Estate

Just a pristine bottle drinking in it’s prime! LOVE the 1996 vintage in Napa!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLQVgjJL20_/?igshid=1oevpml4u9mbf

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Nice pull Rich! The 94/97 are also zoning right now! These classics will drink well for a long long time. [cheers.gif]

Thanks brother! And I agree on the 97 - had it last year and it was great…even out of 375ml!

Thanks for the note. Have one bottle of 1996 left. My guess is that this wine has a lot more than 3-5 years left. I don’t think I have ever had a bottle of Montelena Cab that was too old. About five years ago, my friends and I did a Montelena vertical. Interestingly, almost (but not quite, there was the 1991) the wines got better as they got older and the WOTN was the oldest - a 1978 Sonoma Cab.

No problem Howard! That’s awesome on the vertical tasting - would LOVE to do that! And I’m sure you’re right that the wine has much longer than 5 years left, but my impression with this bottle last night was that it was drinking in its prime with (to me) the ideal blend of well integrated fruit/tannins and some secondary characteristics just peeking through. I wouldn’t be afraid to hold your last one for longer…but it was damn good yesterday [cheers.gif]

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While we’re at it, the 91 and 94 are still really good.

Tom

Nice buddy! Sadly none of those in my cellar :frowning:

Nice note, Rich! We don’t have any 96’s left, but every bottle that we had was excellent. Only '91’s, 94’s and 97’s. Hard to go wrong with any Montelena from 1990-1997, IMO.

Ed

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I am sure it is at a prime now and that you are correct - it has been about 5 years since I had this. But, in general, I think these wines have a very long prime. I find it fun to space out the Montelena wines a bit and try them at different ages.

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Agree. I think this has been a very underrated winery that somehow seems a bit under the radar.

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Also, I have a warm spot for Montelena as it helped me a bit in my career. When I was a pretty junior associate at my law firm, I convinced the senior partner in my practice to split a case of 1985 Montelena with me ($20 a bottle). As the price rose over the years, I think so did my relationship with him (of course, there were many other reasons for this as well). I opened my last bottle of the 1985 with him and his wife for their 50th anniversary a number of years ago (she is no longer alive, he is 90). He was thrilled. It was fabulous.

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Add either (or both) to the list of wines we’ll open one of these days.

Tom

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Love that story Howard! Fun to hear how wine can play a part in relationships early on and help strengthen them over time! Thanks for sharing!

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Its going to be a helluva time when we finally get to meet up [cheers.gif]

Howard Cooper wrote:
Also, I have a warm spot for Montelena as it helped me a bit in my career. When I was a pretty junior associate at my law firm, I convinced the senior partner in my practice to split a case of 1985 Montelena with me ($20 a bottle). As the price rose over the years, I think so did my relationship with him (of course, there were many other reasons for this as well). I opened my last bottle of the 1985 with him and his wife for their 50th anniversary a number of years ago (she is no longer alive, he is 90). He was thrilled. It was fabulous.

That is a nice anecdote, Howard. We also have a warm spot for Montelena because we met one of our best friends, and wine mentors, in line there while waiting to attend a Moveable Feast party many years ago. Even though he was in Southern California and then St. George, we saw him a few times every year until he passed away last year, and drank many good bottles together, including many different vintages of Montelena.

Ed

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Thanks for the data point, ive got 90 and 91 and have been wondering…

We had a 90 last summer which was delicious. I was amazed at how complex it was.