Chateau Montelena

Zinfandel 2016

Calistoga, California

Download Listen

Zinfandel is California’s heritage grape, and as anyone who has tasted long-lived examples from the 1970s, it can produce wines of tremendous quality, both immediate pleasure and age-worthiness, and all in a rich and spicy berry profile that is unique in the world of wine. Like every wine they produce, Montelena looks first and foremost to take the tremendous fruit they work with and transmit it in a complex, balanced package.

Vineyard

The vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting. The decades old Zinfandel, planted in craggy volcanic soil, combined with 10-year-old vines in cobbly alluvial soil, produces a wine with complex character.

Winemaking

The Zinfandel sees a primary ferment in stainless steel and malolactic fermentation in oak. It is then aged in French/Irish/ American oak barrels for 16 months, 20% of which are new.

Vintage

Early budburst and a relatively mild spring laid the foundation for a successful Zinfandel crop in 2016. Predictable summer heat drove ripening without excessive stress on the old, dry farmed vineyards. The younger Primitivo plantings were harvested early as mild weather settled in during September. The resulting fruit provided a beautiful red berry contrast to the darker, brambly flavors from that of the old vines, which were picked later in the month.

Tasting Note

“On the nose, aromas of cinnamon and allspice quickly yield to ripe cherry and a torrent of red fruit along with a characteristic hint of tobacco. Dark and lush, the initial perception on the palate is of tart raspberry is overwhelmed by blackberry jam, red licorice, and a supple earthiness that leans toward black pepper and anise. The finish, intriguing in its contrast to the palate,is driven primarily by the briar and spice character of the old vines: layered and dense, with just enough tannin to balance the mocha and barrel toast character from time in the cellar.” – WINEMAKER MATT CRAFTON

Food Pairing

The Chateau Montelena Zinfandel can stand up to the big, meaty flavors, such as barbeque pork ribs, leg of lamb or a well-seasoned beef dish. The spicy notes of the wine will also complement dark chocolate dishes quite well.

Color

Red

Grape Varieties

Zinfandel

Appellation

Calistoga, California

Alcohol

14.5%

Suggested Retail Price

$40.00

More on Chateau Montelena Zinfandel 2016

Wine 101: Napa Valley

November 5, 2020 - In Vinepair's latest Wine 101 podcast, they highlight Napa Valley, the most prominent wine region in the US. Chateau Montelena is discussed quite a bit, as Tasting Director Keith Beavers…

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is Chateau Montelena’s flagship wine and a quality icon of Napa Valley. The winemaking team works obsessively and passionately with each vintage to capture the best expression of their historic terroir. This is a show-stopper that reveals the perfect blend of flavors, aromas and textures to reach the pinnacle of balance.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, California

The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the balance of Montelena, classic “old-world” structure with ripe California fruit.  It is crafted from fruit coming from the Montelena vineyard and several prime neighboring vineyards, all in the Calistoga AVA. The Montelena Napa Cabernet is a wine that delivers immediate pleasure upon release, but in Montelena style, while age and develop beautifully.

Napa Valley Chardonnay

Napa Valley, California

A true icon. The Napa Valley Chardonnay is the wine that put Chateau Montelena and Napa Valley at the forefront of the wine world in 1976, in what is now memorialized as “The Judgment of Paris.” To great disbelief, the Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay was the top-ranking wine against four white Burgundies and five other California Chardonnays. And as they say, the rest is history.

Potter Valley Riesling

Mendocino, California

Riesling is a hidden gem within the Chateau Montelena portfolio. Many people don’t know it exists, and once they do – they keep coming back for more. Stylistically, it is amazingly refreshing with notes of lemon blossom, honeysuckle and rose petal that are balanced by lively acidity.