Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 magnum (1.5 L)
Fresh and lively, the wine opens effusively with raspberry, mint and plum sauce. The baking spices soon follow, leaning clove initially but with plenty of cedar and vanilla. Still subtle, the ripe fruit elements, mostly cassis and fig at this stage, lurk beneath the surface along with beautiful hints of graphite and toasted sage, awaiting additional time in glass. Still very tightly wound, it’s the texture and mouthfeel that drive the palate initially. The tannins in particular are somewhat coarse but not so angular to overshadow the abundant dark fruit. The dynamic tension on the midpalate serves to focus and magnify the layers of black cherry, cocoa powder, and black pepper, before turning slightly earthy and dusty. The structure is pronounced, but still harmonious and well defined. It’s in the transition to the finish that the acidity materializes in almost candy-like fashion, a beautiful contrast to the supple tannins. Here the wine’s density shines elegantly, well balanced between smoky, espresso bean and delicate, dried blackberry. It’s the latter that defines the finish at this moment, persistent in length and depth.
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