Cardinale Red Meritage 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.8%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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%.
At Cardinale we christened this the vintage of "Alice's Rabbit," in that everything was very late. Already looking at a later harvest because of this phenomenon we enjoyed several months of mild temperatures and slow, steady flavor accumulation, without many of the heat spikes we have become accustomed to in Napa Valley. Thus as fall started to make its appearance with even cooler temperatures and shorter days our concerns increased because we hadn't yet reached our full flavor potential. Thankfully we were blessed with an Indian summer at just the right moment that helped drive these flavors to the Cardinale standard of quality.
"This 1,000-case cuvee from three separate Napa vineyards – the Veeder Peak Vineyard high up on Mt. Veeder, the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain, and the Stags Leap Vineyard on the valley floor – is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot. Deep ruby/purple to the rim, with notes of graphite, black cherry and black currant liqueur, licorice, and spice box, the wine has silky tannins, full body, a gorgeously layered, rich mouthfeel, and a long finish with moderately high tannins and refreshing acidity. It’s a big wine for sure, but it has uncanny elegance, purity, and length."
The Wine Advocate
Learn About Cardinale Map It
In 1983, Jess Jackson, proprietor of Kendall-Jackson Winery, decided to produce a world-class red Meritage wine. The name comes from the original Cardinale vineyard site at Kendall-Jackson's Lakeport winery. The wine is made predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with small amounts of Merlot and, in certain years, Cabernet Franc. Grapes are harvested from hillside vineyards located in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak Chateau barrels to produce a forward, seamless oak character to match its intense fruit.
Learn 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...
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Learn About Bordeaux Red Blends
Bordeaux Blends The Fab Five With so much history under its belt, it's no wonder that Bordeaux has figured out the recipe to produce amazing wines. Centuries of making (and drinking) wine led to the blend that has become synonomous with Bordeaux. Winemakers in the New World replicate this formula to create successful blends in their respective regions - you may see Bordeaux blends...
Read More About Bordeaux Red Blends