Good deep ruby-red. Complex aromas of currant, licorice, graphite, bitter chocolate, smoked meat, tobacco and brown spices. Began juicy, penetrating and quite youthfully unevolved, but aeration brought a suppler, rounder texture and more generosity to this impressively structured wine. Complicating notes of bitter cherry, menthol and minerals. This will require a good eight to ten years of aging but the substantial tannins are sweet and lush. Very long, pure and powerful on the finish.
The flagship wine, the 2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a lovely perfume of fresh herbs, loamy soil, black cherries, and black currants. Spicy and very Bordeaux-like in this vintage, with high tannins, a cool climate freshness, and a leaner personality than is found in riper vintages, it will benefit from 1-2 years of cellaring, and should drink well for two decades or more.
Quite rich and exotic, with complex, appealing flavors of cocoa puff, mocha, buttered cinnamon toast, blackberry granola and smoky cedar. This richness finishes drily, but the wine is very tannic, giving it a lock-down astringency. Needs time. Best after 2011, and through 2015 or so.
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