I can think of only three wineries that were making fabulous Cabernet Sauvignons in 1973 that have continued to produce great wines, with no qualitative slumps through 1995 - Caymus Vineyard, Ridge, and Chateau Montelena. Because Chateau Montelena is "old" by California standards, it is easy to overlook the extraordinary wines produced by Jim Barrett and his son, Bo. Remarkably, there is not a bad vintage of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon to be found. While hitting the peaks in top years, this winery makes fine Cabernets in vintages where other producers flounder. A recent example of this is the 1989 Estate Cabernet, a superb wine that continues to languish on the shelves of retailers. For that reason, an invitation to a vertical tasting of Chateau Montelena's estate Cabernet is one of the most exciting tickets in town. (RP)
Impressive, showing what happened when the grapes were left to hang after rains and a huge crop. Plenty of ripe, fleshy currant and black cherry flavors. (JL)
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2007 York Creek "Horseshoe Block" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $40)