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Chateau Montelena Winery

Chateau Montelena Winery 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'd 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 vine cuttings 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 After prohibition was repealed, the Tubbs family continued to harvest the vineyard, making some wines and selling grapes to other wineries and home winemakers until they sold the winery in 1958. The Chateau and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. The Chateau inspired Frank to excavate a lake with grounds landscaped to reflect the Chinese gardens of his homeland. Today, Jade Lake is considered one of Napa Valley's most beautiful sanctuaries, home to a variety of fish and wildlife, and surrounded by weeping willows and native fauna.


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Address Web Social
1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA, US, 94515 Email:
Phone: 707-942-5105 Web:
Fax: 707-942-4221
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  Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
The Montelena earthy-berry aroma is very concentrated, showing lovely, classic Cabernet, warm earth and sun baked cassis with licorice and spice. On the palate there is integration of strong, deep, concentrated fruit in a perfect balance. Super fine tannin grips the palate, with ripe, round flavors that dance right on the seam between classic Bordeaux and California styles. I look back on the battle of 2004 with fondness because the wine is so wonderful now. And after 25 or more harvests we love the greatest challenges, because once they are but memories the toughest years become the most legendary adventures.
  Montelena Estate Zinfandel
We describe the 2005 vintage as a mild one, with good ripening weather throughout, and this is especially beneficial to the thin skinned Zinfandel grape. In heat it can experience shrivel, and with cold and wet conditions it can rot more easily. So we were confident that the relatively cool 2005 vintage would be particularly kind to this variety. We also knew that if grown with patience from low yielding, carefully farmed Calistoga vines - with an eye toward crafting an elegant, claret-styled red wine - our Estate Zinfandel grapes would provide delicious rewards in the glass.
  Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
In the glass, our 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet shows a deep, dense, black ruby color. It offers complex aromatics of berry, cedar, licorice, and classic Cabernet which, combined with its rich, underlying fruit concentration, should please the most discriminating wine lover. In the mouth it is wonderfully smooth, full-bodied and balanced, with attractive berry and spice notes, along with rich, fine grained Cabernet tannins. Tasty today, this wine is built in the traditional Montelena style, so that it will also definitely develop nicely with a few years of cellar time.
  Napa Valley Chardonnay
In the glass the wine is exactly what you would expect from a young Montelena Chardonnay, showing bright yellow gold, with good color density. It smells great, like a green apple pie, bright and a little citrus-y, a bowlful of fresh fruit. The palate is very nice, very smooth, with classic Chardonnay flavors of apple and kiwi, and a lovely finish that leaves the palate refreshed and wanting more. Typically a little tight in its youth, a textbook characteristic of a Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, this wine will reward you with pleasing structure and complexity after some time in the cellar.
  Potter Valley Riesling
Bright yellow gold in color, atypical for this usually pale variety, the nose conveys a truly delicate blend of honeysuckle, white peach and flowers, intertwined with a lovely and inviting note of Riesling. Crisp flavors of fresh fruit follow, carefully balanced, and with a fine tuned acidity that is very pleasing in the mouth. This is the driest, lowest sugar Riesling we have ever made. We are certain you will enjoy this all spring and summer, patio or pool, day or evening!


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