2001 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Conditions that give low yields often contribute to the production of superb wines. The 2001 vintage is testament to this phenomenon. Frost damage early in the year followed by excessive heat during flowering set the stage for a small crop, while consistently temperate weather during the growing season yielded beautifully balanced grapes with ripe, complex flavors.

An unseasonably warm March accelerated bud break just in time for a cold, wet April: prime time for frost conditions that damaged some of the new buds. During the critical flowering in May we experienced several days over 100º, causing 'shattering' in a few of the Cabernet blocks.

Fortunately the weather during the rest of the growing season was mild with consistently moderate temperatures ensuring a long ripening period and excellent, complex flavor development. The crop's perfect ripeness was evident in the grapes' fully mature skin tannin, tell-tale brown seeds, and delicious fruit flavors. Waiting for each block to achieve optimal maturity before picking, we harvested Cabernet on our Estate over an unusually long 5 weeks.

95Wine Advocate
93International Wine Cellar

"One of Bo Barrett’s finest efforts. Dense ruby/purple with a nose of crushed rocks intermixed with crème de cassis and a hint of licorice... full-bodied, pure, and deep."

Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate
vintage weather

Temperate Consistent. Well below average rainfall. Frost damage followed by high heat in May that caused some shatter kept yields low. Remainder of season was mild and grapes attained full maturity before picking. Started night picking to increase fruit integrity. Wines are very rich, well-balanced, and full.

tasting notes

This wine has a deep, dark color revealing its concentration and extract. Its room-filling fragrance is the pure essence of Cabernet, with ripe cassis and black cherry fruit and the signature earthiness of The Montelena Estate's complex soils. On the palate the wine is full and warm with ripe fruit flavors and layer upon layer of complexity. A velvety-soft texture is framed by a stylish tannic grip, ensuring drinking pleasure now and for many years to come.

After a special July 2010 tasting, wine journalist Laurie Daniel published her notes on this vintage: "Dark and dense, with youthful aromas. Ripe, lively black cherry, chocolate and firm tannins. Seems young."

Harvest Date Sept. 4 to Oct. 12
Sugar At Harvest 22.7º to 25.2º brix
Barrel Aging 18 to 20 months
Bottling Date August 2003
Release Date March 2005
Cases Produced 8,000