As insiders know, these wines are the handcrafted products of one of California's most influential and successful winemakers/consultants, Tony Soter. Soter has a superb list of clients, including Araujo Estate, Dalla Valle, and Viader. His own wines are also brilliant, and in 1997, his portfolio will include a Pinot Noir produced from his first vineyard - in Oregon's Willamette Valley."
Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1993
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
With a stunning black/purple color and intense, pure fragrance of black fruits and subtle new oak, this medium to full-bodied, multi-layered wine combines California's lavishly rich, intense fruit with an underlying sense of elegance and style, a la a top-notch Chateau Margaux. The finish builds in the mouth, and the overall sense is one of exceptional richness, balance, and purity. It should drink well young because of its forward personality, and last for 20 years.
The Wine Advocate - "I had a chance to do a mini-vertical of the Etude Cabernet Sauvignons, and all of them performed extremely well. Most of them appeared to need additional cellaring, and each of them suggested to me that they have another two decades of life. I rated the 1993, 92+ (it needs 2-4 years of cellaring).
Wine Spectator - "Intense and vibrant, with rich, mocha-laced currant, mineral, blackberry and lead pencil flavors. Wonderful balance and sense of harmony, with a long, detailed finish and firm, gripping tannins."
The underlying philosophy at Etude Wines is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Winemaker, Jon Priest, believes that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression. View all Etude Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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 & 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.