Cardinale is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, primarily composed of fruit from
two estate mountain vineyards on Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder. Since the
1995 vintage, our Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain and Veeder Peak Vineyard
on Mount Veeder have represented the core of the wine, contributing extraordinary
richness and depth to the blend.
Each vineyard block destined for Cardinale is selected for the distinct footprint
of individual flavor components. Our 2000 Cardinale is made from four unique
vineyards that lend precise aromas and flavors layered to create a rich, integrated
Howell Mountain (48 percent)
The grapes from our Howell Mountain vineyard are planted at a 1,700-foot
elevation with a western facing exposure on the Vaca Mountains. Always the last to
ripen, this seventy acre vineyard can expect frost as late as June. The cold climate
vineyard yields rich flavors of distinct blue fruit, ripe raspberry and complex
mineral and earth notes.
Mount Veeder (19 percent)
Planted at an elevation of 1,600 feet in the southern part of the Mayacamas Mountain
range, this pinnacle estate vineyard contributes power and dark fruit flavors to the
final blend. The Cabernet Sauvignon grows on a sloping hillock on the eastern aspect
of the Mayacamas. The steep grade lends a rocky loam soil profile with excellent
water drainage. Cold climate conditions and high elevation produce minimal
amounts of fruit with bold black fruit extraction and an austere, elegant structure.
Knights Valley (13 percent)
Peter Michael's Les Pavots Vineyard rests on the steep slopes below Mount St. Helena
in Knights Valley. This southern exposure vineyard rests at 1,000 feet above sea level
with rugged rock and red volcanic ash soil. The warm climate and rocky soils add
supple, lush plum fruit and wonderful opulence that rounds out the middle palate.
Alexander Valley (20 percent)
Two small blocks from the Alexander Mountain Estate ranch at 1,500 feet above the
Alexander Valley contribute both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The clay and
sandy loam soils contain a number of outcroppings and steep hillsides. This
vineyard imparts soft red berry flavors, floral aromatics and greatly contributes to
the wine's opaque purple color.
"Full bright ruby. High-toned, pure aromas of black cherry, licorice, violet and bitter chocolate. Powerful and very intense, with enticingly sweet black cherry and mocha flavors. A rare combination of strength and finesse. This may ultimately be sweeter and suppler than the '99. The tannins are currently covered by extremely persistent fruit. Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain fruit comprise the core of this blend." -Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar