1982 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 1982 vintage has been duly recorded in the annals of California wine history as the biggest crop ever. Also recorded were the successive Fall rains that had a grave effect on those hapless vignerons whose overcropped vineyards weren’t picked until later that year. The long, cool, wet seasons of ’82 highlighted more than ever the “art” of winemaking in the vineyard. Diligent hand thinnings and constant attention were required to maintain good style and flavor by insuring sufficiently low yields and full maturity. As a result, we now feel that we succeeded in making an outstanding wine from a vintage that received less than stellar reviews from some doomsayers in the wine writing media. Happily our work has paid off.

92Wine Advocate
vintage weather

Cool. Wet winter, cool spring. Record crop, thinned 5 times to lower the yield. Mid-September rains caused some problems, but we finished picking before major storms in October. Big wines, clean, fat and juicy berries.

tasting notes

From the first appearance and aroma it becomes obvious that this wine was made from fully ripe mature fruit. The intense deep garnet color and heady complex bouquet are immediately indicative of Montelena Cabernet with its unique make-up of berries and earth. Some tasters also remark about its cedary qualities and compare the aromas to coffee or chocolate.

The well balanced acidity and moderate tannins may convey a ready quality about the wine but its greatest promise will show some years hence.

Harvest Date August 29 to September 9
Sugar At Harvest 23.8° brix
Barrel Aging 24 Months
Bottling Date May 1984
Release Date September 1985
Cases Produced 11,425
Alcohol 13.5%