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97pts Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a brilliant wine and one of the gems out there from this estate. It offers crème de cassis, crushed violets, purple iris, and white flowers, with beautifully integrated background oak. It’s deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and seamless, with fine tannins, truly brilliant purity of fruit, and a great, great finish.
A powerful, intense wine, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Montelena exudes depth and textural richness, all with the tannic and structural underpinning that is such a signature of the Montelena Cabernets. Black cherry, plum, lavender, licorice, and smoke build as this voluptuous, racy Cabernet shows off the natural radiance of the year. Although the 2015 has quite a bit of density and raciness, it also retains considerable freshness. This is another drop-dead gorgeous wine from Chateau Montelena.
95pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate reveals vibrant cassis, crushed black plums and black raspberries notes with hints of fallen leaves, damp soil, cedar chest and charcoal plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied with plenty of lively, crunchy black and red fruits, it has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and a long, youthful finish with the oak still standing out slightly. Give it another 2-3 years in bottle and drink it over the next 25-30+. 95+ points
Nose It doesn’t take much time in the glass to reveal the ripeness of the vintage. Dried cherries, baking spices, and vanilla intermingle with softer notes of espresso bean, pipe tobacco, and lavender. Palate The 2015 steers toward dark fruit with plenty of blackberry jam and plums slowly yielding to intense, vibrant tannins and bright acid. A touch of smoke punctuates the midpalate revealing anise and cocoa, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Within a few moments rhubarb appears as do dried ginger and black pepper. Additional ageing time is undoubtedly necessary to reveal the potential of this wine. Finish The finish ties both the nose and palate together with fresh raspberries, a subtle hint of mint, and incredible freshness. Vintage Weather A relatively warm winter set the stage for another year of drought in California. Budbreak occurred early in Calistoga, increasing the risk for vine-damaging frost, but our concerns were allayed as spring proved to be mild and uneventful. As June and July arrived, the weather remained temperate providing additional hang-time for flavor maturity and color development in the fruit. As is usually the case, the light crop turned out to be of excellent quality.