2003 Chateau Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes

This 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.
"The powerful, concentrated 2003
(14.3% alcohol) exhibits aromas
of black currant jam, tar, smoke,
and forest floor. This opulent, rich
2003, while less flamboyant than
the extroverted 2002, is deep,
chewy, pure, and well-delineated.
Anticipated maturity:
2010-2025+. At the end of my
tastings, Bo Barrett opened a
1986 Montelena (rated 94), and it
is still incredibly young, rich,
vibrant, and full-bodied. It is a
terrific expression of Calistoga
Cabernet Sauvignon made by a
master. It appears to have
another 20-25 years of aging
potential."
-Robert Parker 93-95 Points
Winemaker:

Bo Barrett
Bo’s career in the wine industry began in the
summer of 1972, right after he graduated from
high school, when his family purchased
Chateau Montelena. He spent the first summer
pulling star thistle in the old vineyard and
picking up rocks in preparation for replanting.


In 1976 Bo transferred to Fresno State
University, where he was an honors student in
Viticulture and Enology. As 1981 drew to a
close, Chateau Montelena’s Winemaker left to
pursue other opportunities and Bo was offered
the job by his father, the winery’s Managing
General Partner. "When I told my dad I would
think about it, I was concerned about what it
would do to our relationship. I thought about it
for two days and finally told him that I would
need to have the freedom and professional
respect he had shown the previous
winemakers. He agreed, and that’s the way it’s
been ever since."
There is much fruit in the nose, not unexpected considering the excellent ripeness achieved in
this vintage. The unique blend of soils in Ch. Montelena's vineyard leads to very pleasing
layers of complexity, and there is an evident menthol-cedar note attributable to the volcanic
soil component. On the palate this wine delivers intense, broad and sweet fruit, layered with
spicy cherry, and even a bit of chocolate.

The overall structure of the 2003 Estate Cabernet 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 you after a few more
years of cellaring.
Since 1972, Bo has been involved in every vintage at Chateau Montelena. His
intimate knowledge of the Estate vineyard, gained over more than 30 years,
provides him with a wealth of experience that allows him, year after year, to
"bring the vintage and the vineyard to your table in a wine that is elegant,
balanced and enjoyable."

When not making wine, Bo enjoys flying, scuba diving, skiing, and spending time
with his wife, Heidi, and his three children.
For The Distinctive Epicurean and Wine Enthusiast
Chef   & Vintner
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