Chateau Montelena Zinfandel 2018
Most everyone is familiar with Bottle Shock, a 2008 American comedy-drama film based on the 1976 wine competition termed the “Judgment of Paris” when California wine defeated French wine in a blind tasting. That winery was Chateau Montelena in Napa and the Chateau Montelena Zinfandel 2018 certainly lives up to the accolades of the past. Brambly and dark with compounding waves of dried cherry, cedar, and Chinese five-spice, the wine opens with effusive fruit and, after a few moments, fresh roses. The energetic nature of the palate perfectly reflects the complexity of the growing season as bright acid contrasts black pepper, which yields to plenty of ripe raspberry and cherry candy. This, in turn, transitions to fresh mint and abundant spicy cloves. It’s spice that drives the finish with tension and grace as the fine-grain tannins slowly give way to dark-roasted coffee bean and a hint of lemon zest.
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