Napa Valley, California
I am delighted offer out most recent UK exclusive addition to the Bancroft portfolio, the legendary estate from Napa Valley Château Montelena. Montelena is one of the original 'blue-chip' estates in the Napa Valley with an illustrious history dating back to 1882 when Alfred L. Tubbs purchased 254 acres of land at the base of Mount St. Helena, two miles north of Calistoga in the North of the Napa. The present renaissance of this estate began in 1972 under the leadership of James Barrett. It was thrust into the limelight after the famous 'Judgement in Paris Tasting' of 1976 when its 1973 Chardonnay walked away from stunned French judges with 1st place in the Chardonnay category. The continuing top-ranking results are testimony to the efforts of James' son Beau, who has maintained the quality performance level since 1982.
During our recent tasting of Montelena, the Bancroft team were very impressed with the level of quality throughout the range, all of us agreed that the wines were at the very pinnacle of the Napa tasting tree.
We are offering them En Primeur with shipping in June. Please take this opportunity to buy a case or two at the opening prices. These iconic wines should be in everyone's cellar!
Napa Valley Chardonnay 2008, Ch Montelena @ £315 IB per case of 12
Brilliantly clear with a beautiful golden-straw color, this Chardonnay invites you in with tempting aromas of pear tart, tropical passion fruit and lychee, along with wet gravel and a subtle oak spiciness. The palate opens round and fleshy with flavors of juicy peach and mouthwatering, big, citrus notes of pink grapefruit and honey tangerine. The mid-palate is layered with green apple and an understated, nutty, oak tone which segues into an interesting long and spicy finish. Big structure and great weight throughout complement the numerous layers of flavors to complete the package on this classic, Montelena Chardonnay.
"Outstanding. Captivating aromas of apple, pear, fresh herbs, dried spices and flowers. Boasts very good density of texture and flavor intensity. Hold this for at least a few years before pulling the cork." 90 Points, Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
Estate Zinfandel 2008, Ch Montelena @ £95 IB per case of 6 (very limited)
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.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Ch Montelena @ £300 IB per case of 12
The deep intensity of the dark ruby color hints at the great extraction of this 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet. The nose is layered with ripe plum, blackberry, dried black currant and rich cocoa. In addition, there are undertones of earth, leather and vanilla, along with a light rose top note. Bright acid and fresh red fruit flavors open the palate, leading the way to big ripe cherry mid-palate, and mellow barrel tones. The wine is rich and mouth filling with good layers, good persistence and depth, and culminating in a nice spicy ripe fruit finish. This Cabernet shows excellent mouthfeel and weight throughout, thanks to the beautiful structure of firm fine-grain tannin.
Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Ch Montelena @ £400 IB per case of 6
"A great wine in the making, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (just under 10,000 cases produced) possesses a fragrant bouquet of sweet black currants, crushed rocks, earth and background oak. Full-bodied and dense, with Montelena's typical power, tannin and reserved nature, this is a big, rich, formidably endowed red that requires 4-5 years of cellaring. That in itself is atypical of this exuberant, flamboyant vintage. Given this cuvee's past history, this 2007 should age for 30+ years." 94+ Points, Robert Parker