Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
This wine, with its rich black ruby color, exudes complex aromas of dried cranberries, ripe cherries, nutmeg, roasted coffee, and dusty potpourri. It fills the mouth with firm, dense, luscious fruit and fine, silky tannins. Winemaker Francoise Peschon notes: This wine is delicious, smooth and seamless with layered flavors of cassis, dried plums, pomegranate, spicy cinnamon, and cedar that coat the palate, ending in a long spicy finish touched with lead pencil. While bursting with fruit, it is impressive in its elegance, balance and harmony. It should age gracefully for 20 or more years.
The Wine Advocate - "The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, is a beauty. The healthy ruby/purple color is followed by classic, unevolved but promising aromas of minerals, cedar, smoke, and black currants. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with admirable purity, a sweet, lush mid-palate, and ripe tannin in the finish. The top-notch 1997 is a classic, restrained. Anticipated maturity: now-2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Full ruby-red. Expressive nose combines black raspberry, currant, black cherry, chocolate, tobacco and sandalwood. Lush and sweet but fresh, with a firm edge of acidity giving shape to the flavors. Big and mouthfilling but not at all heavy. The tannins are suave and fine. A bit dominated by the oak today. This wine is virtually always in an awkward stage about six months after the bottling, says Bart Araujo, although I recall that the '96 was atypically showy a year ago.
Since 1971, some of California's most ageworthy and intensely-flavored Cabernet Sauvignons have been made from grapes grown at the Eisele Vineyard, located on a benchland near the northern end of Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga. Protected by the Palisades Mountains to the north and cooled by westerly breezes from the Chalk Hill Gap, this 38-acre vineyard is planted on warm cobbly soils that produce a low-yielding crop of exceptionally concentrated fruit. Bart and Daphne Araujo acquired the Eisele Vineyard in 1990, and committed to producing only wines of the highest caliber and distinction. Araujo Estate produces 4 wines each vintage: Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, Altagracia, Syrah Eisele Vineyard and Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard. View all Araujo Wines
About Napa Valley
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.