2017 Ch. Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel

2017 Ch. Montelena Calistoga Zinfandel

¥7,040 (incl. tax)

The Calistoga Zinfandel features a historic label, highlighting the winery’s (and the Napa Valley’s) long association with this most Californian of grapes. Lighter in both color and heft than most contemporary expressions of Zinfandel, the wine, too, seems to recall an earlier era of winemaking. While the 2017 vintage played out with a few hot spells, Zinfandel vines are robust and seem to thrive in the heat. Produced from the estate’s newer plantings of Primitivo as well as old vine Zinfandel from vineyards in the region, the wine delights with red cherry and raspberry as well as cinammon, cloves, black pepper, and dark roasted coffee. The structure suggests many years of enjoyment lie ahead.


Winery Description

Founded in the 1880s, Chateau Montelena was named for Mt. Saint Helena, the imposing peak that looks over the upper Napa Valley where the winery is located. For decades one of the valley’s top quality wine producers, the estate struggled in the years after prohibition and even ceased making wine from its grapes. That all changed in the late 1960s, when a group of partners led by Jim Barret revived the estate, restoring the iconic chateau-like winery building, the Chinese-themed gardens, and, most of all, the vineyards. In no time, Chateau Montelena was making wine that, along with other pioneers of that era, vaulted the Napa Valley into the major leagues of premium wine production. Indeed, by 1976 Chateau Montelena not only emerged as one of Napa Valley’s premier wineries, but awakened the entire world to the quality of California wine, when its 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay won first place in the infamous Paris Tasting, in which some of France’s greatest wine critics rated the Chateau Montelena above some of the most illustrious of white burgundies.

Since 1981, Bo Barret, son of the founder, has overseen the winemaking at Chateau Montelena, pursuing the goal of making flavorful but elegant, complex and age-worthy wines in the French style. Unlike many of its peers, Chateau Montelena’s wines do not undergo barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation or even aging in exclusively new oak barrels in order to emphasize the nuances of the terroir and the natural flavors of the grapes.

The 98-acre Montelena Estate vineyards, spanning flatlands and hillsides north of the winery alongside the Napa River, features a rich mix of alluvial, sedimentary and volcanic soils as well as an intriguing variety of microclimates. Primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the estate also includes several blocs of Zinfandel. Vines planted in these rocky soils are naturally low-yielding, and such techniques as organic pest control, dry farming, and crop thinning bring yields down even further. The results of such low yields are evidenced in the consistent quality of the “Estate” wines: full-bodied, intense and flavorful - though somewhat tannic in their youth - elegant, complex and age-worthy.

In addition to the “Estate” wines, Chateau Montelena also produces Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards elsewhere in the Napa Valley, Chardonnay from both the Napa and Alexander valleys and a small amount of Riesling from the Potter Valley in Mendicino County.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Napa Valley
Winery Ch. Montelena
Vintage 2017
Color Red
Varietal(s) Zinfandel/Primitivo
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 7.5 x 30.5
Case Size 32.5 x 25.0 x 31.5
Alcohol 14.5%
Product Code MT17NZN

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Effusive bramble and dark raspberry mingle with a medley of spice – cinnamon, cloves, rose hips. The palate is energetic and bright with flavors of cherry, red plums, and baked raspberries, modulating into black pepper, clove, and mint. Decanting is recommended. 



Stainless steel fermentation followed by 16 month's aging in French, Irish and American oak barrels (19% new)

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