New Cabernet Sauvignon Releases From The Exclusive Pritchard Hill Region Puts MONTAGNA VINEYARDS Squarely In the Elite Napa Wine Category!
After Montagna’s 2007 ‘Tre Vigneti’ Cabernet Sauvignon release was met with resounding applause, we were eagerly anticipating the next release of this up and coming winery founded by Bob Long, co-founder of David Arthur Vineyards.
As it turns out, there were no wines made in 2008 by Montagna Vineyards, a decision not made lightly by a winery in its formative years. But these are the tough decisions that have to be made to maintain the level of quality the proprietors want their wines to convey, and which will elevate the winery’s status into the upper echelons of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon producers.
MONTAGNA 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
‘Tre Vigneti’ Estate
Comprised of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah and 2% Malbec, there was a total of 843 cases produced of the 2009 ‘Tre Vigneti’ Cabernet. The fruit was carefully selected from all three vineyards on the Montagna Estate on Pritchard Hill.
A dark Ruby red color leads to aromas of ripe cherry, black currant, cedar, spice and vanilla. On the palate the resolved, fine grain tannins frame flavors of dark plum and cassis, with hints of mocha on the finish. Drink now through 2020. ($50)
MONTAGNA 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
‘La Presa – One South’ Estate
With the 2009 vintage, Montagna has included the inaugural release of the ‘La Presa – One South’ 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, a 288 case bottling of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the La Presa Vineyard, one of three vineyards on the Montagna Estate.
A deep dark ruby color leads to profound aromas of blackberry-cassis followed by hints of floral-lavender and then spices of roasted coffee, fresh saddle leather, molasses and candied ginger. On the palate the wine is rich and broad-shouldered with prominent tannins that are both firm and fleshy. Nuances of anise, licorice and dark chocolate add to the layers and complexity as the wine continues to open up. Hints of chocolate covered black cherries make an appearance on the finish. Still a little closed, decanting is highly recommended for near term drinking, but the ‘La Presa – One South’ Cabernet should drink beautifully in about 3-5 years with another decade of cellaring potential. ($125)
About MONTAGNA Estate Vineyards
Bob Long is the proprietor of Montagna Estate Vineyards located in the prestigious Pritchard Hill region of Napa Valley. Long has a storied history in the wine industry beginning with the co-founding of David Arthur Vineyards in 1978 with his brother, David. The first release of Montagna wines consisted of a small amount of 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 vintage marks the third release of Montagna wines as there were no 2008s produced.
The Montagna Estate rests at about 1400 feet elevation and consists of three distinct vineyards: La Presa (the “Pond”), Montagna (“Mountain”), and Casodores (the “Hunter”).
To help craft the wines, Long enlisted the help of wine-making veteran Nile Zacherle who has been making the David Arthur wines for several years. Zacherle’s wine endeavors began at Navarro Vineyards. He went on to studied hands on, old school winemaking at Château d’Arsac in Bordeaux. He returned to California in 2000 as winemaker for Chateau Montelena and Barnett Vineyards, before taking the reins at David Arthur.
About Pritchard Hill
Pritchard Hill is a rocky, rugged region located in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. The soils are red rock, well drained and very suitable for Bordeaux varietals. The problem is getting water. Several of the wineries that planted vineyards in these eastern hills of Napa Valley have employed extreme measures including employing “water witches” to locate the best source of water.
However, the region has proven to grow phenomenal Bordeaux grape varietals and attracted some of the top “cult” wineries in Napa Valley, including such renowned wineries as Bryant Family, Colgin, Ovid, Chappellet, Continuum, and David Arthur.