Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The 2008 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon is a terroir driven 100% California mountain cabernet sourced from the same grapes as previous vintages with a new Howell Mountain component.
2008 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon is a vibrant plum color with good clarity. Upon opening there is a distinct nose of orange peel and cinnamon resins due to the time the wine has been allowed to age in the bottle. A scent of heated stone, clay earth and spicy florals undulates to cherries, plums, cassis and a lingering of red berries.
Balanced flavors of cassis, plum, black cherry, tobacco and leather course across the sides of the tongue, up to the cedar and vanilla in the back of the mouth, to a bright finish of spice at the front again. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with firm, fine-grained tannins that provide excellent structure. It matches particularly well with garlic, rosemary, sage and nutty, aged-cheeses like pecorino-romano. It can be savored by itself or its leaner balanced acidity pairs well with grilled meats, gourmet burgers, rich seafoods (salmon), risottos, cream based sauces, charcuterie and cheese courses.
While accessible now, the wine will reward those with the patience to cellar it with increasing complexity, smoothness and character for a decade or so.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Rich and complex, deep and boasting plenty of still youthful yet outgoing curranty fruit, this wine is about as close to classic as a wine of its size and expressiveness is likely to get. Its keen focus on varietal character is matched by the supportive, wonderfully complementary oak in its makeup, and if a wine of size, it is also a wine of great sophistication. That it comes with a fairly evident wash of latter palate tannins is neither a surprise nor a problem because the wine's depth is matched to its lean underlying sense of balance. A decade or more of growth would seem to be in the offing with this one."
Wine Enthusiast - "Aurielle’s Cabernets have been consistent over the years, offering lots of ripe, modern-style blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate and oak flavors in a wine that’s drinkable now. This ’08 is quite stylish and elegant despite the power, with near-perfect tannins. You could age it, but it’s really best enjoyed for flashy, youthful richness."
Aurielle- from the Latin root AUR meaning "golden" and "sound" and inspired by the qualities of the golden ratio, the mathematical principle that describes perfection and balance in the most classical sense. The golden ratio is represented in the spiral of a Nautilus seashell and by the most pleasing compositions in music, art and architecture. It is where art and science blend to become one and it forms the essence of the no compromise wine-making philosophy that created this extremely limited production (only 358 cases) 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that Connoisseurs Guide rated 94 points. The 2008 follows the sold-out 2007 that Robert Parker rated 93 points and called "A new discovery".
This extraordinary new wine was hand crafted by Chad Alexander, Aurielle's rising-star winemaker, from fanatically tended grapes grown at two tiny, low-yielding vineyards in Napa's Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder appellations. The fruit was hand-picked and sorted, cold-soaked, fermented with natural yeast, then chilled and left to rest for an additional three weeks on the skins before spending two years aging in the finest new French oak barrels and an additional year in the bottle. A costly and time consuming process- but one that produces the elegant waves of flavor, deep purple color and silky texture that caused Robert Parker to describe it as "exuberance, opulence and pure fruit" and Wine Enthusiast to proclaim it as "delicious". View all Aurielle 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 & 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.