The Montebuena Estate
In the mid-1960s, 70% of the winegrowers (175 vintners) decided to join forces and found the Unión de Cosecheros of Labastida, which currently ranks as the largest co-operative winery in the Basque Country, with a production capacity of 7 million liters.
Right from the outset, these winegrowers wanted to be involved in the entire process, from cultivating vineyards to barrel-ageing wine to bottling. Towards this end, the co-op has established its own brands and striven to enhance its facilities, equipping them with the most modern equipment available, as with its stainless steel tanks, a cooling unit for regulating fermentation temperatures and new bottling plant.
The Montebuena Vineyards
The ageing of wines has always been one of this winery’s passions and primary concerns. At present, the co-op has 6,000 American oak casks in storage, with an average age of five years.
Produced from 100% Tempranillo grapes, which are hand harvested from the Montebuena vineyard.
Brilliant deep ruby red color, fruity aromas .
Montebuena Red has a spicy vanilla bouquet and is smooth and fruity in the mouth with some well-integrated secondary nuances, full-flavored and a persistent pleasant finish. Pairs well with beef & lamb dishes, stews & cheeses.
"Lots of toasted oak with coffee and chocolate to the ripe-plum character. It’s full-bodied and chewy with a polished undertone. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (September 2020), 92 pts
Opus One 2014 is made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.
Of the great European wine families, the Rothschilds are perhaps the best known. And Baron Philippe de Rothschild is perhaps the best known of this great family. At the age of 20, Baron Philippe took on the management of Château Mouton Rothschild from his father Baron Henri. Philippe’s vision changed the world of wine: he invented Château bottling, commissioned great artists to illustrate his wine labels – and, in partnership with Robert Mondavi in 1979, created Opus One.In the 1980s, after her father’s death, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild left a stage career that included the Comédie Française and the Renault-Barrault Theatre Company, bringing her own exquisite style and creativity to the design, construction, and operation of Opus One.Among great New World wine pioneers, Robert Mondavi is an international icon. Bringing a passion for excellence to everything he did, Robert Mondavi led a renaissance in California fine wine for over six decades. Among other accomplishments, he introduced temperature-controlled fermentation, French oak barrel aging, and high-density viticulture to a fledgling American wine industry. But life was not only wine for Robert Mondavi: he broadened the American cultural palate by marrying fine wine to food, music, and the arts. One of few Americans to have received the French medal of the Legion of Honor, Robert Mondavi showed extraordinary vision as co-founder of Opus One.
The 2014 Opus One is not as showy or obvious as some of the other surrounding vintages, but it will have its day. Stylistically, the 2014 is bright and also a touch linear, with a construction built more on focus rather than opulence. Readers should plan on giving the 2014 another few years in bottle at a minimum. The mid-weight style is a bit Old World-leaning in this striking, super-classic Opus One. -- Antonio Galloni 96 Points
Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the Opus One 2014 Proprietary Red Wine sports an inky purple color and nose of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of underbrush, sautéed herbs and pencil shavings plus a waft of spice box. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and with an energetic line lifting the red and black fruits, it has a bold frame of grainy tannins and a very long, earth and spice-layered finish. -Robert Parker 96 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards Billet Doux Late Harvest Semillon 2012 (half-bottle) is made from Sémillon (65%) Sauvignon Blanc (31%) Muscat à Petits Grains (4%)
rowing in the gravelly soil of an ancient riverbed in the beautiful Alexander Valley, the old vines benefit from hot afternoons and cool, foggy mornings, favorable for the development of Botrytis (Noble Rot). Extremely small yields in the Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat vineyards lead to the immensely concentrated fruit. Just as one receives a note from one’s sweetheart, we present this wine as a precious ‘Love Note’ or ‘Billet Doux.’
Deep crystal clear gold. Intense and complex bouquet of dry apricot, pêche de vigne and Reine Claude yellow plum intermixed with notes of quince, honey, Muscat and a hint of sweet vanilla. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a creamy sweet texture and a great intensity. The large amount of sugar and glycerin creates a highlighted viscosity. Along with the wine’s great concentration, richness and opulence, the classical aromatic complexity reveals a flamboyant yet harmonious ensemble, leading to a very long, complex and smooth finish.
Proprietary name ‘Billet Doux’
Name meaning Love Note
Type of wine Late harvest white wine
Appellation Alexander Valley
Vineyard singularity 25-60 year old vines Loamy and gravelly soils from an ancient river bed One cluster per shoot ‘de rigueur’
Typical harvest date November Picking Manual, small lugs, refrigerated truck
Sorting Cluster by cluster
Fermentation In barrel through native yeast
Upbringing 16 months French Oak from selected artisan Coopers
Bottling Unfined, filtered to prevent Malolactic
Cellaring time Decades
Serving Chilled and decanted
Produced from 65% Sémillon, 31% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Muscat, the 2012 Billet Doux has a medium golden color and profoundly scented nose of beeswax, honeyed nuts, orange marmalade, Manuka honey and preserved lemons. Full-bodied, full-on sweet, rich, concentrated and oh-so-unctuous, it delivers powerful flavor layers and epic length. 175 cases were made.
-Wine Advocate 97 Points