2008 Montelena Estate Zinfandel

Here at Chateau Montelena, we work hard to craft a Zinfandel that is different from the rest of the crowd. In contrast to the heavy, raisin-y, high-alcohol Zinfandels that dominate the California market, we strive to produce a Zinfandel that is balanced, and food-friendly. That process takes place almost entirely in the vineyard. Through lower cropping levels, clone-selection, and multiple-pass harvesting, we are able to bring in only ripe, balanced fruit with lower sugars and without the heavy raisin load. The result is a wine with lower alcohol levels, clean and ripe (not dried) fruit flavors, and lower pH levels.

Displays more pepper, herb, and a Provencal-like garrique character.

Robert M. Parker, Jr.
vintage weather

Despite the challenging spring conditions and the hot August weather, the 2008 harvest was normal. In fact, our Primitivo clone did exceptionally well – it came in over projections and with appealing juice chemistries. Thanks in part to a few changes in our cellar fermentation practices; we achieved even better extraction, color intensity, and oak integration than in prior vintages.

tasting notes

Bright ruby-red in the glass with good clarity and intensity of color, this 2008 Zinfandel draws you in, delivering rich aromas of bright red berry, slightly earthy briar berry, alluring spice and rhubarb pie, all complemented by soft, well-integrated oak tone. The palate opens clean and soft, building smoothly with very nice tannin integration - soft in texture but firm in overall presence. Dried currants and ripe blackberries are accompanied by notes of fresh vanilla bean while the finish echoes the rhubarb pie from the nose.

Release Price $30.00
Harvest Date August 29 to October 1
Barrel Aging 14 months
Bottling Date March 2010
Release Date Spring 2011
Cases Produced 3,000
Alcohol 14.7%