The latest release of Chateau Montelena’s signature cabernet is somewhat rocky, rather closed off on first blush, revealing tight, oaky tannins and some vegetal notes. Give this one some time or decant — I let it sit in glass for more than an hour before coming back to it — and the wine shows a bit more promise. Some tough root vegetable and mushroom notes still dominate, but there’s more fruit to it at this point, lighter strawberry and fresh, sweeter cherry notes. In time this wine might find some balance as the tannin smooths over and the fruit finds better footing, but for now it’s a strict hold.
B- / $50 / montelena.com