Montelena's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is unctuous, deep and concentrated. A wine of gravitas and power, the 2013 possesses remarkable textural richness, with a demi-glace like sweetness that is unusual for this wine and that lends an exotic feel throughout. The tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit, but they are very much present. Patience will be key. Iron, smoke, tar and licorice are some of the many notes that infuse the voluptuous finish. This is a terrific set of new releases from Bo Barrett and winemaker Matt Crafton. After a bit of back and forth in recent years on the stylistic direction of the wines - the Cabernets in particular - Barrett seems to have settled into a very comfortable place, as is evidenced by the stellar 2014s. It will be interesting to see how things unfold in coming years. The 2014s seem to point to a slightly more classic style than the (admittedly) slight move to a sweeter, riper style seen in some recent vintages. (AG)
Aromatically compelling, this unfolds to reveal layers of dark berry, chalky earth, sage, tobacco and cedar flavors before clamping down tightly on the finish, yet the fruit pushes through. (JL)
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