Extreme Times Call for Extreme Wine: Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


St. Patrick’s Day began with me eating a Belgian waffle slathered with Greek yoghurt covered in English walnuts. I made the joke on Twitter that I was woefully unprepared for the Irish holiday.


After working all morning, emailing students, designing and redesigning assignments, collecting resources, and talking to colleagues, I took a jog in the afternoon. I’ve been averaging more than seven miles a day since the outbreak. I’m starting to wonder how long I can keep this up, but for now the catharsis is needed — especially with my gym closed. After my jog, Titus, Zooey, and I watched Frozen 2 (again).


This week, locked up, I’ve been preaching the merits of opening your good bottles of wine. I’m enjoying opening them, and sharing them with Sonja. Last night we pulled the cork on a 2013 Chateau Montelena Estate Cab Sauv. Chateau Montelena is famous for their Chardonnay, the ’73 vintage winning the ’76 “Judgement of Paris” that you’ve read my mentions of on more than one occasion. Interestingly, white wines at Chateau Montelena only came about because they can be made faster, to offset debts early on; the Barret Family, who own the estate, have always envisioned it as a Cab house, I was told on my last visit, and for good reason — they make amazing Cabernet! Their vineyards, in the warmer end of the Napa Valley near Calistoga, possess the undeniable terroir that has made Napa world renowned, while their winemaking has always nodded toward the Left Bank in style. The result is an amazingly smooth, elegant wine that should age well for decades — though it was absolutely gorgeous last night after only seven years.


I sipped at a glass of wine while Titus, Zooey, Sonja, and I put together a puzzle of the London skyline on the kitchen island last night, a gift from grandma and grandpa.  The kids enjoyed popping the pieces out, while Sonja and I enjoyed watching the familiar city come together. When will we visit London again?  As soon as possible, of course.

Cheers friends,


2 responses to “Extreme Times Call for Extreme Wine: Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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