Gain Bay Cabernet Family 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
2008 in Napa Valley was nuts. From a worst-in-decades frost early on, coupled with abnormally low rainfall, then tremendous heat spikes during flowering and harvest, it was a very challenging year. The crop size was moderate. Harvests dates were all over the board; an impossible to predict vintage. But for the discerning blender, 2008 presented an abundance of choices and flavors and, once again with skillful blending, outstanding wine was possible.
The Wine: Initial impact is of a huge core of dark fruit aroma. On the palate, the wine is best described as unbelievably silky smooth, with a velvety texture. Flavors of cassis/plum/and berry bound from the glass. The finish is unusually complex, with lovely moderate tannins, and slight pomegranate tones. Fully powerful, this wine's beguiling aromas, soft textures and a complex lingering finish are exquisite.
Wine Enthusiast - "This Bordeaux blend is dry, smooth and complex. There's a wonderful earthiness and herbalilty to it, with green olives complementing Cabernet's blackberry and black currant fruit, as well as the effects of oak aging. Shows real elegance and interest, at a very fair price. Drink now. Editors' Choice."
Gain Bay Winery
The mission of the winery has three parts. It locates opportunities in the wine market; elevates wines from some of the finest vineyard sites available to perfection through precise blending; and prices its wines where the upward slope of highly competitive quality meets the downward slope of value pricing.
Location, Elevation & Slope's first wine, Gain Bay 2005 Cabernet Family, was an example of what is possible to produce as a negociant; a $20.00 red wine from Napa Valley. That initial wine sold out swiftly. Now, the winery is releasing it's seventh wine, the 2008 Cabernet Family and the first Reserve wine, from 2006.
Explore the wine and its heritage. View all Gain Bay 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.
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