An old-school Zinfandel, its colour as transparent as the thin skin of the grapes, this has the richness of a warm-climate wine, plus supple, dusty tannins to keep all the black-fruit flavour in focus. There’s a gamey, meaty edge to it, some eucalyptus and sour plum notes that add to the wine’s charm. Pour it with grilled lamb.
Aromas of cinnamon and allspice quickly yield to ripe cherry and a torrent of red fruit along with a characteristic hint of tobacco. Dark and lush, the initial perception of tart raspberry is overwhelmed by blackberry jam, red licorice, and a supple earthiness that leans toward black pepper and anise. Intriguing in its contrast to the palate, the finish is driven primarily by the briar and spice character of the old vines: layered and dense, with just enough tannin to balance the mocha and barrel toast character from time in the cellar.
93 Points - Wilfred Wong of Wine The 2016 Chateau Montelena is packed, explosive, and delicious. TASTING NOTES: This wine bursts in its aromas and flavors with demonstrative black fruit, loads of berries, and oak. Serve it with barbecue baby back ribs.
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