A classic, old style Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Montelena’s 2004 reveals beautiful purity along with lots of creme de cassis fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and a long finish. By Montelena standards, it is a bit more powerful than usual (14.1% alcohol). These wines have an uncanny ability to age for 2-3 decades, and while the 2004 is slightly more forward and evolved than other vintages have been (2001 and 2002), it should last for 20-25 years. (RP)
Dark ruby-red. Knockout nose combines black fruits, spices, volcanic minerality and earth, plus a sexy note of coffee torrefaction, all lifted by a violet topnote; reminded me of a ripe-year Pauillac. Wonderfully silky and concentrated on entry, then tactile and solid yet juicy as well in the middle palate, conveying terrific sweetness of sun-baked dark fruits complicated by licorice and exotic spices. This compellingly rich, deep wine displays the sappiness of a fruit reduction. The wine's saline minerality contributes to its impression of energy and a note of juicy cranberry enhances its current appeal. But this beauty is just embarking on what should be a multi-decade plane of peak drinkability. Uncommon flavor intensity here--and still just 30% new oak. Incidentally, this is the first year that "Calistoga" appeared on the front label, along with Napa Valley. (It was actually Bo Barrett who initially proposed AVA status for Calistoga, but it wasn't officially granted until 2009. (14.1% alcohol) (ST)
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