Château Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley, California

2017 vintage – 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot. Aged 16 months in French and Eastern European oak barrels, 30% new. Nose: Cocoa, raspberry jam, and dried fig highlight a bright, fresh nose that quickly settles into a steady parade of baking spices, black pepper, and earth. Palate: Deceptively soft initially, the wine builds with its viscosity and concentration amidst layers of ripe plum, very fine tannins, and espresso bean. A lively ginger note adds a touch of spice, bolstered by dried cherry, tobacco, and fresh bright cranberries. Finish: The finish is laser-focused, mineral-driven and persistent, not unexpected in young Cabernet. Delicious now, it will add breadth and polish with time in glass.