Dynamite Vineyards Moon Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
The 1998 vintage was the latest of the last two decades, with the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon ripening in the first week of November. The cool, wet spring weather led to a late bloom and a light berry set that stretched out over a three-week period. With most of the ripening occurring in October, we were fortunate to avoid any major storms and were able to enjoy some unseasonably warm weather early in the month. From the 15 lots of wine produced from our low yielding Moon Mountain blocks, 25% were selected for this reserve blend.
I recommend savory spice rubbed rack of lamb, served with a red wine butter sauce or try venison with a raspberry demi glaze. -Jeff Baker, Winemaker
With its name inspired by the method that workers used to create the original vineyard site on the rocky slopes of the Sonoma Valley, Dynamite Vineyards captured the public’s imagination when its 1991 vintage was released. More importantly, with their full-flavored character, approachable style and unbeatable value, Dynamite Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were soon winning awards and fans.
As consumer demand grew for these impressive wines, Dynamite Vineyards gradually expanded its vineyard sources to include grapes grown throughout the North Coast (Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties), primarily in mountain vineyards. In order to support its continued growth, Dynamite will soon move to a new facility close to vineyards in Lake County’s highly regarded Red Hills growing area. The colorful Dynamite Vineyards labels change each vintage while the wine maintains consistent quality and superb value.
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About Sonoma County
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.
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%.
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.