Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena's rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He had heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck, and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose - perfect for the vines he would plant.

It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, then called A.L. Tubbs Winery, was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. Like many other wineries in the area, winemaking at the Chateau came to an end with Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Tubbs' grandson, Chapin Tubbs, continued the family's venture harvesting the vineyard, making some wines and selling grapes to other wineries and home winemakers. In 1940, Chapin rechristened the winery as Chateau Montelena Winery, a contraction of Mount St. Helena.

Two years after Chapin Tubbs' death in 1947, winemaking was discontinued, and Chateau Montelena would not function as a winery for nearly two decades. The Tubbs family sold the Chateau in 1958, at which time the stone building and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. The Franks emigrated from Hong Kong prior to World War II and had been living in Southern California where Frank was an electrical engineer. The Chateau inspired Frank to excavate a lake and landscape the grounds to reflect the Chinese gardens of his homeland. Today, Jade Lake is considered one of Napa Valley's most beautiful sanctuaries, home to a variety of fish and wildlife, and surrounded by weeping willows and native fauna.

The next chapter began with the renaissance of Chateau Montelena Winery and the Estate vineyard in the early 1970's. Under the leadership of Jim Barrett, the vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the Chateau outfitted with modern winemaking equipment. He assembled a team to oversee the vineyard and winemaking, then grew and contracted for the highest-quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972 wines were made for the first time. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim's son Bo Barrett at the helm.

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Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Tasting Notes Density and concentration sum up the palate nicely as tight-grained tannin is interwoven among layers of fresh raspberry, mint, and hazelnut. These slowly transition to a subtle richness of molasses and fig that's almost chewy enough to sink your teeth into.  Estate Chateau
Item Number: 32746
Case: $635.40

Chateau Montelena 'Calistoga' Zinfandel 2015
"In the glass, the nose is dominated by cocoa, tobacco, and dried cherry. The woodsy, briary character of old vine Zinfandel is quite prominent but with time unmasks beautiful notes of lavender, cassis, and fresh mint. Fresh cranberry, a hallmark of the Primitivo in the blend, mingles with roasted
Item Number: 31529
Case: $359.40

Chateau Montelena 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
95  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 95+ A total knock-out, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate captures all the potential of this great site. Powerful, voluptuous and structured, yet very much within the context of classicism that has defined these wines for several decades. Dark red cherry, stone fruits, smoke, licorice
Item Number: 31518

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2016
Tasting Notes. Nose: All of our wines from the 2016 vintage are incredibly floral and this Chardonnay is no exception. Honeysuckle, jasmine, and apple blossom along with wispy notes of vanilla and lemon balm highlight a harmony of classic Chardonnay aromas. Palate: Green apple, candied orange
Item Number: 31457
Case: $551.40

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2015
Tasting notes. "Ripe peach, pear and cloves dominate the nose amidst a flurry of floral and honeysuckle notes. There's a wonderful fullness and weight on the palate punctuated by ripe melon, green apple, and fresh citrus. The oak contribution remains subtle with a hint of vanilla and baking spice.

Chateau Montelena 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
96  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 96 “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate opens with profound black and red currant cordial notes over an undercurrent of Indian spices, chargrill, scorched earth and bay leaves. Medium-bodied with wonderful intensity and depth in the mouth, it has a firm

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Tasting notesDensity and concentration sum up the palatenicely as tight-grained tannin is interwovenamong layers of fresh raspberry, mint, andhazelnut. These slowly transition to a subtlerichness of molasses and fig that's almostchewy enough to sink your teeth into.

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2014
91  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 91 The 2014 Chardonnay is bright, focused and finely-cut. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2014 much of its lifted, mid-weight personality. As always, the Montelena Chardonnay is done in a brisk, dry style, with blocked malolactic fermentation.  Wine &

Chateau Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel 2014
Tasting notes "In the glass, the nose is dominated by cocoa, tobacco, and dried cherry. The woodsy, briary character of old vine Zinfandel is quite prominent but with time unmasks beautiful notes of lavender, cassis, and fresh mint. Fresh cranberry, a hallmark of the Primitivo in the blend, mingles

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
92  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 92 "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific introduction to the vintage at Montelena. Brisk and energetic, the 2014 offers a good bit of nuance and aromatic complexity. The flavors are dark and intense, but the 2014 is very much medium in body, as these wines are. There is no

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
91  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 91 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, fleshy and seductive, but also light on its feet and gracious. Black cherry, plum, rose petal, smoke, tobacco, licorice and cedar are some of the signatures. Classic and medium in body, this tasty Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon will drink well with

Chateau Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel 2013
Nose- Cocoa, espresso, and cedar, readily apparent on the nose as the wine is poured, transition slowly to ripe blackberry, fig, and mint.   Palate- The acidity on the front of the palate is contrasted and balanced by density and richness, along with notes of raspberry jam, dried blueberries, and

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2013
92  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 92 The just-bottled 2013 Chardonnay is vibrant and fresh, with a little more cut than is typically the case, the result of a year in which acidities are higher. Lemon peel, white flowers and crushed rocks are wonderfully expressive in this finely-sculpted Chardonnay from Montelena.

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
93  James Suckling 
Robert Parker 93 "Surprisingly lush and charming for a young Montelena, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley has a deep ruby/purple color, with earthy, black cherry and blackcurrants. The wine has very ripe tannins, and is medium to full-bodied with outstanding purity and balance. Most Montelena

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2012
" The 2012 Chardonnay bursts with aromas of ripe peach, green apple, and honeydew. Next come a touch of vanilla, lavender and orange blossom, with an underlying note of star jasmine. The concentration of the wine is evident on the palate: the rich viscosity is cut by bright acid and layers of kiwi,

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
“The 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet shows beautiful dark garnet color. The nose opens with big, ripe, red fruits – particularly raspberry and red currant – before moving into layers of barrel spice, anise, and warm cedar. Entering the palate, this wine is bright and lively with good weight and tannin

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2011
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93  "The 2011 Chardonnay appears to have more richness and body than the 2010, which is counterintuitive considering the cool year, but in 2011 Bo Barrett and his team had to wait until the end of October for this fruit to fully ripen, which, needless to say, is highly unusual. The

Chateau Montelena 'Estate' Zinfandel 2010
"The nose is loaded with rich layers of spice, coconut, and brown sugar along with big fruit notes of plum, boysenberry, and hints of dried fruit as well. Beneath all that there is a rich but subtle earthliness reminiscent of hoisin. The palate opens smoothly with soft round tannins rolling across

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2010
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92 "Montelena’s 2010 Chardonnay is gorgeous. Lemon and white flowers are some of the nuances that take shape in the glass. Even with the blocked malo and low amount of new oak, the 2010 has an attractive oiliness that adds body and depth but without excess weight. This is a lovely

Chateau Montelena 'Napa' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92 "A big, mouth filling wine, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, shows the personality of the vintage in its intense fruit. There is plenty of underlying structure in this deep, resonant Cabernet Sauvignon. Mint, flowers and sweet red berries are some of the nuances that are woven into the

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
91  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 91 "The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is wonderfully supple and fragrant. Silky tannins frame a core of expressive dark red fruit. Floral and spice notes are nicely woven throughout. This textured, gracious Cabernet Sauvignon should continue to age gracefully for another 7-10 years, but it

Chateau Montelena 'Estate' Zinfandel 2009
88  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 88 "The 2009 Zinfandel is a pretty, fleshy wine laced with dried cherries, crushed flowers, plums, worn-in leather and spices. Layers of fruit build gracefully to the round, caressing finish. This is an attractive wine, even if it isnt totally varietally expressive. Anticipated

Chateau Montelena 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
94  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 94+ "A great wine in the making, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (just under 10,000 cases produced) possesses a fragrant bouquet of sweet black currants, crushed rocks, earth and background oak. Full-bodied and dense, with Montelenas typical power, tannin and reserved nature, this

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2009
90  International Wine Cellar 
International Wine Cellar 90 "Captivating aromas of apple, pear, fresh herbs, dried spices and flowers. Quite dry and fresh-in fact, almost austere-with a lightly mineral, steely character to the flavors of apple, pear, citrus peel and dried herbs. Boasts very good density of texture and flavor

Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel 2008
The 2008 Zinfandel Estate displays more pepper, herb and a Provencal-like garrigue character, but the wine finishes short and lacks some stuffing. Drink it over the next several years.