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Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

From start to finish, the 2003 growing season in the Estate Cabernet vineyards was a fine one. A warm March evolved into a rainy month of April, setting the stage for excellent vine health and growth later into the year. This is an especially important factor in the 'heart' of the Montelena Estate Cabernet vineyard because these blocks possess very well drained soils. The older Estate vines don't naturally produce very much fruit, so a little extra water early on can be quite the elixir for the longer term. The wine is a typically bright ruby red, with opaque density and color, which leads to a nice array of aromas: sweet black currant jam, with hints of black cherry and flowers. There is much fruit in the nose, not unexpected considering the excellent ripeness achieved in this vintage. The unique blend of soils in the vineyard leads to very pleasing layers of complexity, particularly the evident menthol-cedar note attributable to the volcanic soil component. On the palate it delivers intense, broad and sweet fruit, layered with spicy cherry, and even a bit of chocolate. The overall structure is ripe and rich, pure and well delineated. It is very much in the Montelena Estate style, in which vineyard flavors drive the wine. It is a very structured Cabernet from a great growing year, and it will greatly reward the purchaser after a few more years of cellaring.
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