What a thrill it is to drink Montelena’s 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that takes hold of all the sense and never lets up. Imposing and intense, the 1991 is simply riveting. The flavors are dark, intense and savory, but it is the wine’s silkiness that stands out above all else. Well-stored bottles will continue to drink beautifully for another decade-plus. (AG)
The darkest of these wines so far: deep red-ruby. Some sexy high tones lift the complex aromas of black fruits, dried cherry, potpourri spices and earth. Initially a bit clenched but quickly revealed a silky texture, with perfectly integrated acidity enlivening the mid-palate flavors of red and darker berries, tobacco and spices accented by a minty nuance. This supple yet somehow youthful wine is perhaps most impressive on its inexorable, slowly building aftertaste, where the tannins are in perfect harmony with the fruit. A splendid Napa Valley Cabernet from a long growing season featuring a late harvest. Barrett told me that although he had a new press as of 1990, he only really figured out how to use it in 1991. Beginning with this '91, Chateau Montelena has bottled its flagship Cabernet during the second August; earlier vintages were bottled seven to nine months later. (ST)
Montelena's incredible 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is an exceptional wine. It may be the most promising vintage among the bevy of Montelena Cabernets produced over the last two decades, rivaling even the winery's profound 1987 … The color is a dense, opaque purple. The nose offers up Chateau Montelena's tell-tale signature - abundant, pure aromas of cassis, minerals, and spicy oak. Full-bodied, spectacularly rich, and highly extracted, with moderate to high tannin, this is a youthful, exuberant, stunning example of blockbuster Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Its inner core of cassis fruit is something to savor! It should hit its peak around the turn of the century and last for 20 years thereafter. Don't miss it! (RP)
Smooth, rich and intense without being overly tannic. The core of black cherry, anise, blackberry and currant flavors is well-focused, turning supple, with persistent flavors on the finish. (JL, Web Only-2002)
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