Chateau Montelena

Zinfandel 2015

Napa Valley, California

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Zinfandel is California’s heritage grape, and as anyone who has tasted long-lived examples from the 1970s, it can produce wines of tremendous quality, both immediate pleasure and age-worthiness, and all in a rich and spicy berry profile that is unique in the world of wine. Like every wine they produce, Montelena looks first and foremost to take the tremendous fruit they work with and transmit it in a complex, balanced package.


The vineyard is comprised of varied terrain, from flat to steep hillsides. Extending out from the Napa River is the alluvial soil, the most prevalent type on the property. In the back and outside areas of the vineyard are volcanic soils, formed by ancient lava flows caused by tectonic uplifting. The decades old Zinfandel, planted in craggy volcanic soil, combined with 10-year-old vines in cobbly alluvial soil, produces a wine with complex character.


The Zinfandel sees a primary ferment in stainless steel and malolactic fermentation in oak. It is then aged in French/Irish/ American oak barrels for 16 months, 15% of which are new.


The 2015 vintage will remembered as a warm growing season overall, with an early start to harvest and quite low yields. The effects of the drought induced vine stress early in the spring and high temperatures persisted throughout the summer. These conditions forged incredible density and ripeness of flavor in the fruit and really let the old vine character show. Typically, these vintages need some time in glass for the flavors and texture of the wine to integrate.

Tasting Note

“On the nose, the rich, ripe character of the vintage comes across immediately on the nose with blackberry jam and cocoa along with cinnamon, clove and sandalwood. The brambly, smoky character of the old vine Zinfandel is on display here as notes of tobacco, flint, and bacon fat comingle with fresh figs, black walnut, and plum sauce. The finish comes gracefully amidst dusty tannins, dark chocolate, black pepper and crème de menthe.” – WINEMAKER MATT CRAFTON

Food Pairing

The Chateau Montelena Zinfandel can stand up to the big, meaty flavors, such as barbeque pork ribs, leg of lamb or a well-seasoned beef dish. The spicy notes of the wine will also complement dark chocolate dishes quite well.



Grape Varieties



Napa Valley, California

Suggested Retail Price


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Trade Materials

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