Napa Valley Château Montelana Zinfandel Information
About the domain
The domain was founded according to the pioneering intuition of Alfred Tubbs, a Californian senator from San Francisco, when, in 1882, he planted a vineyard at the foot of Mount Saint Elena, situated a stone’s throw away from Calistoga in Napa Valley. The first harvest, led by French vigneron Jérôme Bardot, produced 50,000 cases. After difficult years during Prohibition, the domain began working again in 1933, with Chapin Tubbs (the founder’s grandson) in charge. The domain was later sold to lawyer Jim Barrett who, with his son, replanted the entire vineyard and restored it to its former splendor. A key step in this domain’s worldwide renown was the Paris Judgement of 1973, where along with 4 Burgundy Chardonnays (inc. Leflaive and Roulot) and 6 Californian Chardonnays, Chateau Montelena was recognized as the best. Today, Bo Barrett manages this organic domain, favouring low yields; according to him, “The most important thing in viticulture is balance”.
About the cuvée
This Zinfandel’s nose opens up with notes of cocoa, tobacco and black cherry. It then reveals an oaky side and fragrant flowers such as lavender and a hint of mint. The texture is supple, structured with well-integrated tannins. On the palate, the wine is dominated by cinnamon and clove. The finish is laden with tertiary notes of chocolate.
The information published presents current information on the wine concerned and is not specific to a certain vintage. This text is protected by copyright and it is forbidden to copy without prior written consent from the author.
General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.