Chateau Montelena Cabernet Napa Valley, CA 2009
This Cabernet is deep ruby in color with massive extraction and great density. The nose opens with huge intensity, great depth, and lots of layers. Big fruit aromas of black cherry, bright red berries, and plums all lead into the barrel notes of toasty oak, vanilla, and smoky undertones. The palate entry opens smoothly and builds predictably with big, firm (but not coarse) tannin, good acid balance and lots of structure. There is a great progression from ripe, sweet cherry and plum fruit up-front to rich, dried black fruit and spice on the finish – with the vanilla and spice from the barrel layering in seamlessly.