2011 Helena Montana KV Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Helena Montana Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Knights Valley
Knights of Montana
From the very same Spire Collection luxury portfolio as the sellout Mt. Brave…
Here’s one (make that 2!) for the serious Cabernet lovers, those who want powerful mountain Cabernet built like a brick house and designed with classic old-school style. In fact, we get some serious Leoville Las-Cases type vibes, and it shows a remarkable similarity to some of Medoc’s 1st Growths.
“Both are beautiful.” - Vinous
That makes sense considering that the 100-point winemaker behind Anakota is Pierre Seillan of Vérité Estate fame. Born in the Gascony region of France, he learned about terroir and winemaking at a young age on his family’s vineyards in Armagnac. When he came to California in 1998 he was drawn to the rugged mountain terrain of Knights Valley. Since, he has been making these wines for two decades.
Anakota has a singular focus. And that’s to make single vineyard, single expression wines from each of their two individual vineyards in Knights Valley. They leverage the ancient volcanic soil and rugged mountain terrain flanking the Mayacamas range to coax an unmatched intensity from their Cabernet.
Intense, with a deep well of complexity, the Helena Montana shows a little plusher ripeness than the Helena Dakota, which is all about redder fruits and silkier tannins. While these have a decade of age, they could easily cruise for another ten years. In the mouth Helena Montana is all about plump, juicy blackberries, black plums, dusty blackcurrants, dark cocoa, roasted coffee beans, all carried along with fine-grained tannins. The Helena Dakota on the other hand offers raspberry jam, red plum and currant, milk chocolate, and cardamom notes within an envelope of smooth texture. Give these both some air before diving in and serve it up with something hearty like a beef stew for maximum enjoyment.
Normally allocation only wines that sell out fast upon release, we managed to liberate about ten cases straight from the winery’s library cellar, just don’t ask what it took. And after shaving a cool $45 OFF the library price, you’re getting these for a hardly ever seen discount… while they last at least.
Apologies in advance for running out, swear we took every single bottle they would let us have!
91+ Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Pierre Seillan has been making wine for 47 vintages - which itself is almost impossible to believe - yet his enthusiasm appears boundless. Seillan’s Anakota wines remain hidden jewels within the Kendall-Jackson portfolio, and far more accessibly priced than the wines Seillan makes at Verité. There are two sites that inform these Knights Valley Bordeaux blends. The Helena Montana emerges from a site rich in volcanic ash that generally ripens its crop a few days earlier than the Helena Dakota, which tends to yield more minerally, gravelly Cabernets. Inky, deep and gorgeous, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard emerges from the glass with blackberry jam, cassis, sweet spices, menthol and cloves. This is a surprisingly juicy, full-bodied wine with superb depth for the year. Typically firm Knights Valley tannins support the finish. All the elements fall into place nicely. I am intrigued to see how the 2011 ages. There is certainly plenty to look forward to here. Drink 2014-2026.”
What the Winery Says
- Pierre Seillan
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Knights Valley, Sonoma County
- Helena Montana Vineyard
- 950 ft. above sea level
- Yellow-white sandy & gravelly loam
- Total acidity
- 5.2 g/L
- 15 months
- 100% new French oak