The use of Sonoma Valley hillside vineyards gives particular structure to this Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cabernet has very rich aromas of cassis, black cherries, and plums with nuances of toasty oak in the background. On the palate the wine shows its underlying depth of dark fruit. It is silky in texture with almost a sweet impression that lingers into a plethora of black fruits, cassis, and a nuance of dark chocolate on the finish.
The wine is easily approachable and a pleasure to drink now. It is a flavorful accompaniment to any fine meal.
Varietal Composition: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Arrowood Vineyards & Winery
Richard and Alis Arrowood founded Arrowood Winery in 1987 with a philosophy of making wines of singular and exceptional quality, using grapes grown exclusively in Sonoma County. Richard continually explores the diversity of Sonoma County, working with mostly the same grape growers he began cultivating in 1974, as Winemaster at Chateau St. Jean Winery. Arrowood is known for making small lots of benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlot, Viognier and Syrahs, among other varietals.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It'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.
Most 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 & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.