Hi Everyone, my name is Chris Corley. I'm the winemaker at Monticello Vineyards. 2013 will mark my 23rd vintage at Monticello, my 13th as head winemaker. A very quick background on our family winery ... Our dad, Jay Corley, bought an old prune orchard in Napa in 1969 and planted it to grapevines. He grew and sold grapes to some great early Napa wineries from 1971 until 1981. In 1981 we started making our own estate grown wines, known as Monticello Vineyards and the Corley Reserve wines. My brothers Kevin and Stephen also work at the winery, Kevin in the vineyard and Stephen in sales and marketing. We are proud to be one of a dying breed of family-owned and family-run wineries left in Napa. We have an unusually large number of staff that have been with us for more than 10 years, and a good number of staff that have been with us for more than 20 years. This measure of employee retention, which we consider our extended family, is a metric of our business that is as important to us any other traditional business metric. It speaks to our mindset of growing and making great wines, selling them for a fair price, and conducting ourselves in a fair and honest way.
Regarding our offering on wine.woot ... Our Jefferson Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon has been a hallmark wine for us since the early 1980s, and a wine that I continue great satisfaction from in crafting each year. Every vintage is different as we know, and as has been suggested in previous comments 1998 was a vintage that was not widely celebrated by the press. I think of winemaking as a journey. Certain vintages present navigational challenges, but that doesn't mean we alter the destination. By owning and/or managing all of the vineyards that we make our wines from, we can exercise full control over all aspects of our wines, from pruning through to bottling. This gives us more tools to navigate years like 1998, 2000, 2003, etc.
I agree with some of the comments above that patience and care is rewarded when enjoying these older wines. I like to settle the wine upright (cork up)overnight, and absolutely would decant this wine. It will not only remove any sediment, but I really enjoy decanting. It cleans up older wines and opens up younger wines ... plus its fun. I would consider using a screen for an older wine like this, that can help with removing any tartrate crystals that may have developed over the years. I recently found this wine to open very nicely after decanting and sitting in the decanter for about 45 minutes. Keep in mind this is a wine that has been asleep in a bottle for almost 13 years. Give it a little time to wake up.
I apologize for the long monologue, but am on the road and not certain of how frequently I'll be able to chime in, so wanted to take a little longer opportunity to say hello while I can. I hope everyone has an opportunity to enjoy this wine!