Red Wine Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Decant 1 hour before serving. If Chateau Montelena’s beautiful ivy-encased winery does not alone betray its age and history, we shall do so here. The land was established in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs, a San Francisco business man who monopolized the rope market during the gold rush (and whose company succeeded until 1962!), bought 254 acres and began planting grapes. Wine was made here until Prohibition, the years during which the vineyards still persisted. Alfred’s son later took over and renamed the winery to Chateau Montelena 1934. Winemaking waxed and waned for some years, and though the estate changed hands many times before majority ownership was assumed by the Barrett family who still run it today, the name never did. From the long harvest of 2018, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant (88%) blend reveals an array of qualities bestowed by slow and steady picking in the vineyard. It is rounded out with 11% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. It was aged 16 months in French and Eastern Oak barrel, about a quarter of which were new. Deep garnet verging on violet, the nose on this wine showcases fresh berries, dried cherries, mint, bergamot and gunpowder. On the palate it is fresh and dynamic with laser focused acidity. It presents notes of cranberry, raspberry preserves, cola, black pepper, cedar and mushroom. Tannins are gentler on the ‘18, but well integrated.
Red Wine Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Red Wine Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf du Pape 2018. Both Abeille and Fabre families have done a tremendous job in maintaining this winery’s consistency over the years.
Red Wine Chateau Pedesclaux Fleur de Pedesclaux 2018. Set in the heart of the prized Pauillac appellation on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, Chateau Pedesclaux punches high above its Fifth Growth status with this delicious and accessible second wine. Pedesclaux takes its name from founder Urbain Pierre Pedesclaux who established the estate here in 1810 not far from famous names like Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet. Today it is run by the Lorenzetti family who have transformed the estate with cutting-edge winemaking technology, detailed studies of the soils, and a firm commitment to sustainability. In total they have 36 hectares under vine on gravelly clay soils with some limestone. Unusually for Pauillac, the Fleur de Pedesclaux is predominantly made from Merlot along with a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot depending on the vintage. Hand harvesting ensures the grapes arrive at the winery in optimum condition and they are then carefully sorted. Following vinification the young wine is transferred to French oak barrels for 16 months to soften Pauillac’s notoriously firm tannins. Packed with velvety rich dark berry flavours, a powerful full body, and a well-built structure, this is an excellent value Pauillac that’s ideal to enjoy now with hearty red meat dishes or keep for a few more years in the cellar.