Chateau Montelena is best known for its chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon production, but the winery produces other goodies too. Both this riesling and zinfandel were delightful little surprises. Thoughts follow.
2017 Chateau Montelena Riesling Potter Valley – Soft and slightly creamy, this riesling drinks a bit closer to chardonnay than to the classically aromatic style, showcasing notes of peaches and apricots, a little cinnamon-infused horchata, and golden syrup, lightly sweet, with a crumble of graham crackers. Great on its own, but a natural pairing with spicy food. A- / $27
2015 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel Calistoga – One of the more balanced zins on the market, this is a wine that shows restraint, its palate leading not with punchy jam but rather dried berries, some spice, a touch of tobacco leaf, and a bit of chocolate. Some balsamic notes — not at all a bad thing here — creep into the lengthy, fruit-forward finish. Beautiful. A / $39