Chateau Montelena Classic Napa Cabernet

A refereshing blog!


Old World Approach + Napa Sun
My palate leans decidedly to the old world. I’m more impressed by elegance than overwhelming power and richness, so I’m pretty choosy about Napa Valley wines. Chateau Montelena fits the bill perfectly.

Classic Napa sun & classic approach yields a Cabernet Sauvignon an old world fan can enjoy.

Chateau Montelena – A Bit of Napa History
Chateau Montelena
traces their history back to at least 1888 when their Gothic style winery was built as part of the A.L.Tubbs winery. Three to twelve foot thick walls and built into a hillside, the winery needs no additional cooling. Even the Chateau Montelena (a contraction of Mt. St. Helena) precedes the modern era, being christened in 1940 by a descendent of the original owner.

Spring ahead to the early 1970’s, and Jim Barrett purchased the property, cleared and replanted the vineyards, and starting making wine again in 1972…

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

6 thoughts on “Chateau Montelena Classic Napa Cabernet”

  1. Bill- Just started getting your notes on wine recently. Always enjoy getting someone else’s perspective. Found you through my long time friend Steve Bach. I remember your name from my days at First Interstate Bank. We never had an opportunity to meet since I traded muni’s in Portland and I believe you were in LA or Phoenix. Hope all is well for you these days. Keep up the good work.


    1. Hi Mike, I remember you. I was at the holding company until 1976 then at FNB Reno until 1981 when I went to ML in San Francisco institutional office selling bonds to the SF Banks. R. Scott Clements was with you at FNB Oregon then, right?
      Good to hear from you.
      I just returned from a 3-1/2 week trip to the west coast and would have updated blog by now except I have had a horrible cold. Should start writing again this week.


      1. I worked for Scott until he left the bank to start an investment banking firm.
        Did you know Frank Klewceski at Merrill in S.F. ?


  2. Definitely. The Polish Prince. Last I heard he had an auto carwash in Bozmean Montana…his licence plate was T EM UP. A true character.


  3. The Prince was indeed a character. Always looked forward to seeing him when he came to town. He sold the car wash some time ago. Didn’t like the cold weather in Bozeman. After that he went back to peddling bonds with a couple diffferent firms. Last known address was San Diego. I’m sure he’s retired by now.


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