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Winter Release Montecillo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Library Release)

Winemaker’s Notes

Opaque purple color. Layered red and black fruits, plum, prune and blackberry. Wet earth, loam and volcanic ferrous scents, tremendously complex and nuanced. Dried red cherries, lavender and spearmint. Broad fruit entry, immediately full and generous. Rising inner mouth perfume: dried herbs, tobacco leaf and lilac. Wonderful balance between sweet, savory and structural elements. Real depth and concentration, expansive mouth coating tannins and lingering black cherry fruit.

Here we have a truly special wine from a vineyard packed full of character and history. Planted in 1964, these old vines sit at 1,700 feet high above Kenwood in the Moon Mountain appellation—a new name for an old area of significant historical importance in the evolution of Californian Cabernet. These upland, highly-eroded mountain soils produce wines drenched in terroir signatures—no simple juicy fruit here. I describe the vineyard signature as “red-mineral-vapor”, that volcanic/ferrous/iron quality that seems to come directly out of the soil into the wine. Woodsy, underbrushy, a little herbal and full of sweet tobacco and pine needle scents—really fascinating and compelling.

The wine itself has all these elements wound around lovely deep red and black fruits – cherries and blackberry mostly—underpinned by bittersweet cocoa powder notes and dense chewy mountain tannins. There’s tremendous volume to the wine’s mid-palate which continues to expand after days in the bottle—at 60 hours after opening the wine was at its peak during my tasting. This is no doubt due to the high level of dry extract these low-yielding old vines naturally produce—thick, dense and chewy. Don’t be afraid therefore, to decant this well in advance, so the wine’s full beauty can gradually unfold. No doubt this wine offers excellent cellaring potential—10+ years will be no problem. Because of the age of the vines, there will always be a finite supply of this bottling - great things come in small packages.

Andy Smith

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Montecillo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Library Release)  - DuMOL


Harvest Date

September 19th


Moon Mountain District


Old Vine Selection

Age of Vines at Harvest

50 years

Barrel Aging

20 months in 55% new French oak barrels from Tonnelleries Ermitage & Remond


300 cases of 750mL
24 cases of 1.5L


96 Vinous
94 The Wine Advocate