Ratings & Tasting Notes:
91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
A blend of three Sonoma appellations at the time. Medium to deep brick colored, the 1974 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma opens with tons of spice box, potpourri, incense, leather and menthol notes with a touch of truffles. Medium-bodied, the palate is laden with layers of spices and powdery tannins, with a wicked acid backbone giving lift to the long, earthy finish.
90 points Decanter
The first Montelena Cabernet, from purchased Russian River and Alexander Valley grapes, was very much alive, with rich curranty flavours with a hint of balsamic in the surprisingly long finish. Barrett says the high acidity held it together. Very much an old-school California Cabernet with fairly rustic tannins, it’s still enjoyable for its historic importance. This famous vintage put northern California Cabernets on the map as potential competitors to Bordeaux.(EM) (6/2018)
90 points John Gilman
The 1974 Montelena Sonoma County cabernet is another lovely wine on the nose that is still a bit coarse on the finish, and probably will always be just a tad rustic. The wine in those days was made by Mike Grgich, and was sourced nearly all from a pair of vineyards in Alexander Valley. The bouquet on the ’74 Sonoma County cabernet offers up a complex and quite attractive mélange of sweet cherries, plums, a touch of lanolin, soil tones and a bit of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and quite open on the attack, with a nice core of sweet fruit, but a rather chewy and slightly rustic finish that may never fully integrated into the body of the wine. The finish does show good length and closes with a nice note of cocoa powder, but this may have just been so early in the history of the winery (only founded in 1969), that the cabernets of this era are not quite up to the caliber of later vintages. It is still not a bad wine by any stretch of the imagination and may even improve if the finish eventually smoothes out a bit more. (7/2007)
A very handsome bottle of this wine that did so wonderfully well in the famous first Judgment of Paris tasting – a slightly earlier vintage. Wonderfully vibrant still with masses of obviously Cabernet ripe fruit and great balance. Admirably vigorous still. In much, much better shape than any 1974 red Bordeaux. 18.5/20 points (JR) (9/2014)
Stored on it’s side in a climate controlled cellar since purchase.
Please note: The bottle shown is the exact bottle being sold.