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Wine Review #6:
Chateau Montelena
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California
Purchased At: Crowne Liquors
131st and Meridian
Carmel, IN
May 11, 2018

14.2% Alcohol
Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with Some Merlot and Cabernet Franc

Medium(+) Intensity
Deposits Noticable on Cork and In First Pour (consider decanting)
Medium(+) Vicosity (14.2% alcohol!)
Ruby Red
Medium Rim/Core Variation

Black Cherry


Solid wine but it left me looking for a little something more. I didn’t feel this gave an “expression” that is typical of a 90 point wine. The intensity bordered on a medium / medium(+), but in the end there just wasn’t enough to get me to medium(+). The oak comes out on the nose and pallate. Good dark fruit expressions including black cherry, plum. Also hints of caramel with some leather at the end.  The winemaker says:

“The wines produced by Chateau Montelena are handcrafted in our cellar by our dedicated winemaking team. The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit. To achieve this goal, we use modern crushing, de-stemming and pressing equipment to process the grapes as gently as possible. We then use temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to allow the wines to ferment slowly and evenly. Once fermentation is complete, the wines are transferred to small, French oak barrels to begin the aging process. We use a combination of new barrels along with older, neutral barrels to ensure that the natural flavors of the grapes are not masked by oak. After blending and bottling, the wines receive enough aging time prior to release so that they can be enjoyed right away or laid down to mature for years to come.”

I purchased the bottle for $45.  No average critic score was given on  I gave it an 88/100.  After adjusting for price, my price adjusted score came in at 82.

Wine Rating: 88

Price Adjusted Rating: 82

Note: My goal is to provide characteristics of the wine and not to sway a wine drinker from trying any wine – even those that I rate at a lower score.  My rating is just that – MY rating.  I base the rating on 5 characteristics: balance, length, intensity, complexity and expressiveness.  I am independent in my evaluation of every wine.  Ultimately, my wine rating scale is the same scale used by Robert Parker whereby:

96-100 Extraordinary
90-95 Outstanding
80-89 Above Average to Excellent
70-79 Average
60-69 Below Average
< 59 Appalling

I also provide a price adjusted rating.  This rating takes into account the quality of the wine (per my rating) and the average price consumers are paying for a standard 750ml bottle of wine.