Dark garnet red in colour. The bouquet is rich, the ripe character comes across immediately with blackberry jam and cocoa along with cinnamon, clove, and sandalwood. The palate brings brambly, smoky character of the old vine Zinfandel is on display here as notes of tobacco, flint, and bacon fat comingle with fresh figs, black walnut, and plum sauce. The finish comes gracefully amidst dusty tannins, dark chocolate, black pepper and crème de menthe.
Chateau Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel
for the equivalent of £42.95 a bottle
Grower: Chateau Montelena
Grape Variety: Zinfandel
Style: Savoury and Spicy
Appellation: Napa Valley
Alcohol: 14.5% ABV
Bottle Size: 75cl
6 in stock
Chateau Montelena’s rich history began on a chilly fall morning when Alfred L. Tubbs spaded over and inspected the soil where he thought of planting estate vineyards. He had heard the Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California. A deal was struck, and in January of 1882 the San Francisco entrepreneur owned 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils are well drained, stony and loose – perfect for the vines he would plant. It took less than a decade to turn his dream into reality. First Tubbs planted his vineyards, then he built his Chateau, and in 1886 he imported a French-born winemaker. By 1896 his winery, christened Chateau Montelena (a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena), was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. Winemaking at the Chateau came to an end with Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed, the Tubbs family continued to harvest the vineyard, making some wines and selling grapes to other wineries and home winemakers. The Tubbs family sold the winery in 1958, at which time the Chateau and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank, who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim Barrett at the helm.