Of the four vintages tasted from the ‘00s, it was tough to pick just two. Like 2005, the 2009 was less muscular, more Bordeaux-like, with a bright, dark red fruit style, smoky spice and a wonderfully silky, caressing texture. At the heyday of high alcohol Napa Cabs, its alcohol is below 14%, partly thanks to a cool summer with no heat spikes and a five-week long harvest from mid-September. (EM)
Montelena's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate wraps around the palate with serious depth. Even with all of its intensity, the 2009 has a silkiness that makes it incredibly delicious at this early stage. Red berries, flowers, tobacco and sweet herbs all flesh out on the generous, radiant finish. While many 2009s are a bit tight today, Montelena's 2009 Estate is showing very nicely, although it is keeping some cards close to the vest. I imagine the 2009 will start to enter its prime drinking window around age 8-10 and drink well for at least another decade beyond that. (AG) 93+
Good red-ruby. Highly perfumed aromas of black cherry and menthol lifted by rose and spice oils. Suave, pure and vibrant, with red berry and spice flavors lifted by a pungent minty quality. Nothing black fruit about this vintage. Finishes with fine-grained, rather silky tannins and terrific energy. Less forbidding at this young stage than many recent vintages of this wine, and in a distinctly food-friendly style. This wine benefited dramatically from its final months in barrel. (ST)
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