The 2015 Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon comes in a garnet-purple color, and scored a 95 on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. On the nose, it gives aromas of dried cherries, baking spices, vanilla, and hints of espresso bean, pipe tobacco, and lavender. On the palate, dark fruit is prominent, as in blackberry and plum. There are also flavor notes of smoke, anise, and cocoa.
It has a balanced finish of fresh raspberries, and a subtle hint of mint. Additional aging will make this wine even better, with its rich depth and texture.
This Napa Valley stunner works well with many complex dishes. Enjoy a glass with your charcuterie, paired with salami, and cheeses like gorgonzola, aged cheddar, and gruyere. A hearty steak will be perfect with it, as will a roast leg of lamb, a beef brisket, or a roast pigeon.
Chateau Montelena’s win in the historic Judgement of Paris, or Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, didn’t just bag a grand prize recognition for the winery. It also placed Napa Valley wines in general on the map. Given the biased notions at that time that only French wines would reign supreme, the blind tasting composed of nine French judges out of 11, proved that non-French wines had a chance in making a name on its own too.
Although the news of the Napa Valley winery’s win was mostly ignored by French press, The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 had a revolutionary impact on expanding the production and prestige of wine in the New World. It also gave the French a valuable incentive to review traditions that were sometimes more accumulations of habit and to reexamine convictions that were little more than myths taken on trust.
Store unopened red wines in a cool, dry, and dark place safe from constant vibration. Keep your bottle horizontal in a wine rack or cellar to retain the moistness of the cork. The ideal temperature for storage is between 16 to 18°C. Once opened, a bottle will be good for 3 to 5 days standing upright in the refrigerator.