2005 Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel
The depths of off-season are here, but we must still have a nice night out, or night in to save money. So buy a $10 steak and open a bottle of 2005 Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel, from Napa Valley. This beauty costs $30, so it is not an everyday wine, but certainly a Friday night wine. This dark red Zin is earthy and spicy, with dark berry and black pepper aromas and flavors, a lovely violet/rose petal nose, and a dry, lightly acidic finish. A touch of dark oak and chewy tannins make this wine perfect with a New York Strip, buffalo, or grilled lamb chops. The tannins and acidity mean the Chateau Montelena Zinfandel will age well for five to10 years.
Winemaker Bo Barrett ages this Zinfandel for 18 months in oak barrels. Chateau Montelena is known mainly for its Cabernet Sauvignon, although it was its 1973 Chardonnay that won the Paris Tasting of 1976.
Alfred L. Tubbs purchased 254 acres in Napa Valley in 1882, naming the winery after the overlooking Mount Helena, and planting vines and making wine shortly thereafter. His winery survived Prohibition, but the family sold it in 1958. After years of decline, Jim Barrett purchased the property in 1972 and revived the winery. His son, Bo, became the winemaker in 1982. The Zinfandel is grown on the estate.