Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga in 1882, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.
Jim Barrett’s dream of Chateau Montelena was that this wine, their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, achieve the balance and complexity of flavors, aromas and textures to be considered among the great examples of Cabernet in the world. Almost since his first vintages in the 1970s, this wine has been a show-stopper that has everything in place, while revealing the majesty and distinctive character of the estate vineyard site. Today, the 50-year legacy of excellence in farming, crafting and blending powerful wines and continued innovation is what sets Chateau Montelena Winery apart.
The diversity of soils and slopes in the Estate Vineyard directly translates to layers of complexity and depth in the glass. It is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides with sedimentary, alluvial and volcanic soils. This wine is made from 100% estate fruit, all of which is sustainably farmed and produced in their solar powered winery.
97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
2006 Clos de Tart, Grand Cru
This rectangular mid slope plot is situated at an altitude varying from 269m to 302m. It benefits from a full east-south east exposure and is encircled with a 1.2km long stone wall, which explains the "Clos" denomination. This wall has just been entirely restored. Although the exposure of the vineyard is rather homogeneous, its geology is rather complex: the clay limestone soil is composed of different types of limestone which define very precisely delimited micro-climates. Each of these six microclimate blocks is harvested separately as if they were different appellations. Contrary to a vast majority of Burgundy vineyards, the Clos de Tart vines are planted on a north-south line perpendicular to the slope. This planting orientation provides better conditions to fight erosion by maintaining the soil in place during the winter rain. It also allows the berries to benefit from sunlight on both sides alternatively in the morning and in the afternoon, thus assuring a better bunch maturity. More over thanks to this alternative sunlight exposure, the grapes are likely to be more resistant to scalding during the hot summer days. This particular vine row exposure makes it difficult to train the vines mechanically as the slopes are rather steep and is why most of the vine work is done by hand. The vineyard is 60 years old on average with some vine plants being over a hundred years old. All the re-planting operations are done from domestic ‘massal' selections. The Clos de Tart owns a nursery where the domain selected rootstocks are stored. These plants are used to replace dead vine stocks or for re-planting.
2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Our 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an opaque crimson color with a purplish hue. The alluring nose draws you in with notes of cassis, black cherry, pipe tobacco, salted caramel, cocoa beans and fresh strawberry. This full-bodied wine enters with a depth
of flavor and offers mouth-coating, velvety tannins and flavors of cream soda and red fruit. Black currant and vanilla notes crescendo through the palate to the lengthy finish. This wine is drinkable upon release, but given proper cellaring conditions can be enjoyed through 2040.
2006 Chateau de Beaucastel
The red wine of Beaucastel is structured, intense, yet lean, partially thanks to the large percentage of Mourvedre - about 30% - in the final blend. Its austere tannic backbone and resistance to oxidation help Beaucastel age gracefully. Grenache (30%) contributes a warming sensation of ripe fruit and a velvety feeling in the mouth. Syrah at 10%, and Muscardin and Vaccarese with around 5% each, add color and spicy aromas while increasing the wines ageing potential. The remainder is made up of small quantities of the seven other varieties allowed in Châteauneuf du Pape. They add that extra note of graceful complexity which makes Château de Beaucastel such an extraordinary wine.
2015 Checkerboard “Kings Row” Red Wine
Kings Row is a compilation of the vineyards and varietals from the estate and paints the portrait of our remarkable property which extends vertically from the valley floor to 2,000 feet in elevation. The 2015 King’s Row remains an expression of the Aurora Vineyard. Charming and appealing, 2015 King’s Row suggests aromas of Bing cherry, raspberry and fresh blackberries entwined with baking spice. These warm fruit notes are layered with toasty chocolate and vanilla bean in a wine that’s full bodied and structured with approachable tannins. The wine finishes with a lengthy and lively impression of this exceptional vineyard.
A classic vintage... 2015 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard is expansive and generous. It offers a luscious interpretation of its site and the vintage. Aromas are both sweet and savory, broadly expressive of fresh Blackberries, Bing Cherries, Cranberries, and dried Herbs. On the palate, 2015 Checkerboard Aurora is structured and offers finely polished tannins with a full mid-palate that is lifted by natural acidity and enhanced in a lengthy, lingering finish. In its youth, the 2015 vintage benefits from decanting prior to serving.
2015 Pinot Noir “Treehouse”
The vineyard sits an elevation of 750 feet. Elevation is key. Too high and the vines get too stressed. Too low and they get too vigorous. Because it’s above the fog line, Treehouse receives more hours of sunshine than most anywhere else in the Valley. This gives the vines a chance to wake up in the sunlight, rather than the fog. It’s one reason why Treehouse is so special. Another is its iron-rich volcanic soils – the first thing you notice when you come upon the site. The wine it creates saturates the palate yet has natural elegance, finesse and intensity.
The nose is complex, with layered aromatics of exotic spice, dark cherry, plum and a touch of maple. Elegantly restrained with notes of basil, charred citrus peel and fennel pollen. A powerful wine with fine tannins that envelope the palate. The wine is grand and highly structured, with a lingering finish of blueberry, cherry and cranberry.
2015 Pinot Noir “Bootlegger’s Hill”
ootlegger’s and Treehouse have much in common. They both sit above 750 feet in elevation, both are above the fog line and both are surrounded by redwood and fir trees. But that’s where the similarity ends. Bootlegger’s soil is predominantly Goldridge which is particularly valuable because of its excellent drainage and lousy fertility. Bootlegger’s Hill produces an elixir all of its own. Bootlegger’s is somewhat cooler than Treehouse and produces a wine that’s much different. It’s more elegant, more plush, more red-fruited, where Treehouse is a little more dark-fruited.
Soft notes of gardenia, grapefruit blossom and freshlemon zest compliment the subtle hints of lavender and fennel seed. The palate is focused, with an expansive midpalate that highlights the balanced acid and fine tannins.
Barbour Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Jim Barbour was raised on his family’s ranch in Rutherford where he learned the life of farming, a passion for land, and the understanding that hard work breeds success. After graduating from the University of California-Davis, Jim returned to Napa Valley to begin a career that would lead him to become one of Napa Valley’s most sought-after viticulturists. For over 40 years, he has been dedicated to his craft, producing premium wine grapes using traditional and contemporary hand-farming methods. Jim has planted and managed many prominent vineyards in the valley, including Hundred Acre, Grace Family, Checkerboard, The Vineyardist, Keever, Pride, Husic, Blankiet, Revana, Harbison Estate, Gandona Estate, Pillar Rock, Dr Stephens, and many more. Barbour Cabernet Sauvignon is an Estate Wine handmade by Celia Welch.
Brunello di Montalcino White Label d.o.c.g. 2014
A Brunello with great character that will have a long aging time in bottles. Great fineness, profound, elegant and complex in the Brunello style. White label of Casanova di Neri. Casanova di Neri proudly produces the White Label Brunello since 1978. Our passion and love for the land and our own distinctive Sangiovese joined together to make a wine that stands out for elegance, finesse, high quality and long ageing potential.
Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto d.o.c.g. 2013
Offspring of our homonymous vineyard and of our estate’s best grapes, this wine is kept in the winery for 6 years. It undergoes a traditional vinification in our style but not before a rigorous selection by which every imperfect grape is discarded. Cerretalto is only produced in the years of maximum grape quality. Complex and potent it is also capable of maintaining throughout the years its unique fineness. Extremely long aging capacity.
Pietradonice 2016 (Extremely Limited)
A wine born from our cabernet sauvignon in the vineyards south of Montalcino where a combination of careful farming practices, the right ratio of vines, the unique microclimate and soil components have resulted in a wine of exceptional analytical values. It stands as an interpretation of this variety in Montalcino, the fruit of a vineyard project eager to confront itself with an “international” grape variety. A profound red wine, with a complex, a superb aromatic chiaroscuro the uniqueness of the territory in its richness of flavours, its fulsome tannins perfectly melded in the smooth persistent length of its taste. Particularly elegant and with great fineness, it is the fruit of a high- level vintage that led to the harvest of grapes with the perfect level of ripeness.
Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2015
Ruby red in color. Complex and full-bodied with intense aromas of dried roses, licorice, spice and truffles. Elegant with strong, yet balanced and silky tannins; long and persistent finish.
Barbera d’Alba Vigna Vecchia Scarrone 2016
Ruby-red colour and full-bodied wine. Floral and fruity aroma of concentrated berries and tar with hints of blackberry. Refreshing acidity, rich and soft tannins, finesse, excellent balance, great complexity, integration and a long lingering finish.
Barbaresco Masseria 2015
Garnet ruby color, slight garnet hue, with intense aromas of ripe cherries with intricate complexities of minerals, tea leaves and rose petals. With firm, ripe tannins, crisp acidity and feminine and round structure, this Barbaresco shows incredible finesse with excellent balance, integration and a long, lingering finish.
Barolo Brunate 2015
Intense ruby red. Dry, with generous body, harmoniously balanced and velvety texture. Classic, ripe red-fruit, long finish, rich and very elegant. Spices, violet, plums and intense tar, very typical for the Brunate vineyard.
Barolo Lazzarito 2015
Deep garnet red in color. Richly rounded with a robust and velvety texture; intensely aromatic with hints of figs and plums. Elegant with soft and sweet tannins, followed by a long finish.
Barolo Ravera 2015
Intense garnet red color. Very classic and traditional with a robust structure and intense tannins. Bouquet takes a little time to show itself with slight hints of yeast. It opens slowly in the glass touch of spice and menthol. In the final, the powerful structure and concentration soften the tannins potential.
Purlieu means “the edge of the forest” or “an outlying area.” Directly, it is a reference to our home base in the new Coombsville AVA, at the edge of the forest and the entire Napa Valley. Symbolically, “purlieu” refers to our approach to winemaking, to exploring the outskirts and navigating the boundaries of what one may expect of a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. For us, the key to successfully walking that edge lies in maintaining balance: between innovation and tradition, confidence and restraint, depth and refreshment.
This is the first Purlieu release from the challenging Sugarloaf Vineyard, a rocky hillside site on the same latitude as Carneros. Because of the strong maritime influence, Cabernet from this site is astounding—expressive, charismatic, intense. The bouquet offers an array of sweet blue fruits, floral notes and earth. On the palate, incandescent blueberry fruit shines with shocking purity and freshness. Sleek, structured, and persistent, this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon at its most elegant. Cellaring is likely to unlock even greater complexity and finesse. AVA: Napa Valley Production: 72 cases
2016 Late Harvest Mourvèdre Contra Costa County
The Big Break vineyard was chosen for this Late Harvest Mourvèdre. It’s planted in deep sand-soil, which is dry-farmed and benefits from the drying winds that blow through Contra Costa County. The vineyard carried a light crop of grapes that ripened and dehydrated without rotting to a high sugar content. By the time the grapes arrived at the winery, the lot was 25% raisined.
We bottle and release this wine only when we feel the vintage quality is extremely high. In addition to being luxuriously sweet, the wine has flavors of coffee, chocolate and berries.
2015 Small Berry Mourvèdre Contra Costa County
Our Small Berry Mourvèdre grows in a very special small block at Big Break Vineyard that consistently produces one of our most complex and concentrated Mourvèdres. The vineyard is bordered by Eucalyptus trees which gives the wine a signature minty note. The vines in this block are over 100 years old and planted on their own roots, making this one of California’s most historic vineyards. The vines have survived on their own roots because they grow in sand which keeps the phyloxera root louse in check. We dry farm these ancient, head-pruned vines, continuing a practice employed by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants who planted this vineyard before the turn of the last century.
This vineyard has always shown intense concentration of flavors due, in part, to the small yield that we receive. The ’15 harvest was small in yield and the fruit was very intense. This wine has a silky texture with notes of plum and eucalyptus-mint.
2016 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir “Ǽolian”
Launched in 2012, Æolian is the expression our new-generation Pinot noir, our vehicle to explore younger sections of our estate vineyard planted between 1994 and 2002. Now come of age, these young vines have new stories to tell about this place, and a new generation of winegrowers to hear them. This wine is named for the wind that defines our Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
2016 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir “Estate”
This is the only Bethel Heights Pinot noir that carries our family name rather than a place name, giving us the freedom to choose a few of our favorite barrels to create the wine that expresses the epitome of each vintage at Bethel Heights.
2016 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir “Estate”
Since 1984, our Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay have been the most transparent statement of Bethel Heights terroir that we produce, the sum of all its parts. Old vine storytelling delivered with tension and energy – these wines are the foundation of our house.
Silky and vibrant, with spirited raspberry and violet aromas that open to effortlessly complex flavors of black cherry, black tea, cardamom and other dark spices. Drink now through 2024. 2,632 cases made.
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino
Caparzo produced its first vintage of Brunello di Montalcino in 1970, when the situation in Montalcino was very different than it is now. At the time there were only 13 wineries in Montalcino, and this makes Caparzo one of the historic Brunello producers. The distinguishing characteristic of Caparzo's Brunello di Montalcino is clearly the origin of its Sangiovese. Indeed, the estate is one of the few in Montalcino that has vineyards in the various geographic areas of the Appellation. What might seem to be just a detail is instead quite positive, because the different locations of Caparzo's vineyards allow the estate to draw the most from the different microclimates and terroirs present in Montalcino. The grapes harvested from the vineyards in the various areas of the appellation are carefully selected to lay the foundations for a complex wine that brings together all of the characteristics that make Brunello one of the the world's most sought after wines.
2017 A to Z Wineworks Rosé
The 2017 A to Z Rosé exudes notes of fresh-cut strawberries, rose petals, and watermelon turning to bolder aromas of raspberry, grenadine, fresh plums and papaya with refreshing herbal hints of sweet pea and willow. A generous mid-palate shows excellent balance and juicy acidity with lingering lip-smacking notes of strawberry and pomegranate, grapefruit and watermelon. The 2017 A to Z Rose finishes clean and crisp, a pretty wine enjoyable anytime.
2017 A to Z Wineworks Riesling
The 2017 A to Z Wineworks Oregon Riesling shimmers in the glass with a glint of yellow gold. Compelling floral and fruit aromas invite, evocative of honeysuckle, lime, starfruit, kiwi, kumquat and quince. Compelling secondary aromas arise of candied ginger, lemon, elderflower, jasmine and gardenia. The lively palate is juicy, with balanced acidity and mouth-watering flavors of lime, limoncello, honey, pear and white peach. The 2017 A to Z Riesling showcases the quality of the vintage and the complexity gained from blending from different vineyards. Showing great length with a beautiful finish, this is an excellent food wine that pairs well with various cuisines, including
2018 Tinto Rey Rosé
The 2018 Tinto Rey Rosé has a beautiful pale coral color from the co-fermentation of Tempranillo, Tannat and Verdejo. Enticing aromas of white peach and nectarine lead to flavors of cream cola and sassafras that are balanced by a lively, tart cherry finish. There is some weight to this pretty wine and a bright finish with a lingering hint of tangerine. The 2018 Tinto Rey Rosé is the perfect aperitif. It also pairs well with ceviche, deep fried calamari, cold shellfish and gazpacho.
2016 Tinto Negro Uco Valley Malbec
Floral currant and plum aromas fall squarely into the red-fruit spectrum. While not overly deep or dense, this has some weight to go with flavors of cassis, berry and chocolaty oak. It finishes mildly, with soft oak and a light herbal note.