Here are my notes in the order the wines were served:
- 2005 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay - USA, California, Napa Valley
This was served with Snapper ceviche. I found this to be a very nice chardonnay. Made from 30-35 year old vines. A pleasant tropicality to the nose with a little banana mixed in. Only lightly oaked. Notes of citrus/lime and some white pepper on the finish. 88 points.
- 1998 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay - USA, California, Napa Valley
The pairing with this wine was a cardamom scented lobster salad with mango and candied ginger. Much less tropical than the 2005. I found this to be thinner or leaner as well. Most likely due to the below average ripeness in 1998. Scents of almond oil on the nose. On the palate I noted lemongrass, minerals and some white pear. Light bodied and a short finish. 83-84 points.
- 2004 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley
Served with a beijing duck quesadilla with chili and hoisin sauce. Delicious but a little too salty of a match with this wine. This is mostly cab with some of their estate merlot mixed in. Light crimson color. There was a little alcohol on the nose. Light to medium bodied at present. Somewhat muted nose when compared to the other reds. Smokey red fruit notes with cassis and ripe berry. Dusty tannins. 87 points.
- 2004 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley
Food wise I thought this was the best match of the night. Paired with a Spanish chorizo and potato croquette with either chorizo oil or cilantro aioli dipping sauces. The chorizo oil was the far better dipping sauce match. Not a big fruity over alcoholed Zin which was similar in style to the 1997 Montelena St. Vincent that I had last year. Better body in this wine though. Integrated tannins. Very easy drinking and not overly spicy. Almost cablike. 88-89 points.
- 1998 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley
The chef prepared spiced baby lamb chops with a sweet fennel jam with this wine. Good pairing. This wine had a little skunkiness on the nose but it blew off with some swirling. A round wine but not overly deep. Notes of black cherry and ripe tomato which I probably picked up from the firm acidity. Light to medium bodied. A drink now wine (or at least over the next few years). I don't think this is a long ager. 88 points.
- 2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate (barrel sample) - USA, California, Napa Valley
The food pairing was braised beef short ribs on cheddar grits with a tomato jam. This is made from mostly 30+ year old estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Cab Franc in the blend. This barrel sample was a dark reddish purple color. Thick texture with firm tannins. Rather earthy and woody at present with the tannins hiding much of the fruit. Some chocolatey black fruit on the finish though. Full bodied. Scoring this on future expectations mostly. 92+ points.
Thanks for the invite Haggis. Very enjoyable.