1999 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 1999 growing season was dominated by cool weather, then the last week of September really warmed up and we were able to allow the fruit to attain maximum maturity and ripeness before picking. Because we had a very small crop, the cool year and excellent ripening weather combined for optimal conditions.

The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon tonnage was similar to 1996, only 1.8 tons per acre. Not much there, but man was it great! The finished wine has an inky deep color. You can taste the great ripeness in the glass as dense and spicy Cabernet-cassis. The tell-tale Montelena terroir is evidenced by warm gravel, moist earth, a hit of mint from the volcanic hillsides and loads of ripe black fruits.

95Wine Advocate
92International Wine Cellar
vintage weather

Temperate Consistent. Average rainfall, cool spring and summer, excellent October weather. Below average crop size, the fruit attained full ripeness and flavors. Very good fruit chemistry.

tasting notes

The palate profile has very bright front and middle flavors with intense Montelena earthy berry fruit, classically balanced with good acid from the cool vintage, all flowing evenly to a smooth and elegant tannin structure. This is a perfect example of the rich fruit of the Montelena Estate vineyard tightly woven into a classic Cabernet Sauvignon with balance and elegance.

After a special July 2010 tasting, wine journalist Laurie Daniel published her notes on this vintage: "Dark and dense, with lively black cherry and notes of anise and tobacco. Firm tannins. Still quite tight."

Harvest Date September 30 to October18
Sugar At Harvest 23.4° to 25.1° brix
Barrel Aging 18 to 20 months
Bottling Date August 2001
Release Date March 2003
Cases Produced 6,500
Alcohol 14.0%