|U.S.A.||1998||Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Château Montelena|
Neck level, damp stained label, cracked wax capsule
|bt||1||125||92.00||92.00||Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Montelena||6|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
Good dark red with ruby highlights. Medicinal black fruits, violet and cedar on the nose, plus a subtle carnal aspect; cool--even a bit minty--in a positive way but not especially green. High-pitched and aromatic on the palate, with dense, briary dark berry fruit framed and lifted by a floral quality and mounting minerality. Not jammy or particularly fleshy but not herbaceous either, this wine is long on personality and soil character (in comparison, the '97 and '94 bottlings are more typical Napa Valley Cabernet). Finishes with well-integrated, fine-grained tannins for this challenging year. Barrett noted that he used a relatively high 20% of mountain fruit (nowadays the mountain component is around 10%) and that this fruit achieved good ripeness in 1998. (13.9% alcohol) Drink 2019-2033
The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (13,000 cases) will disprove all the naysayers about how bad the vintage was in the North Coast. It possesses an opaque ruby/purple color, a gorgeous perfume of loamy soil, new saddle leather, chocolate, and black cherry and black currant fruit, full body, and ripe tannin in the finish. As it sits in the glass, notes of cedar and spice box also emerge. Although more evolved than most Montelena Cabernets are at age 4, there is no doubting that it will still provide considerable pleasure at age 15 or 16. Kudos to the Barretts for producing this impressive 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the vintage's few stars.