Grace Family Blank Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
It's not surprising that the wine made from Grace clone grapes grown at Chotsie and Alan Blank's 1.8 acre vineyard in Rutherford shows similarities of style to the wine made from our own vineyard in St. Helena. Smooth, firm tannins give an elegant supple texture that frames a graceful and harmonious whole. But Blank Vineyard's own unique terroir affords it a very unique personality as well. The wine serves up a beguiling array of wintergreen, herb and spice notes that point toward coffee and camphor in addition to ripe red fruit. Not really a sibling, but rather a cousin of the original Grace Family Cabernet.
International Wine Cellar - "Good red-ruby. Black cherry, flowers, eucalyptus and tar on the nose. Fatter and lusher than the 2003, with supple flavors of red cherry and mint. Offers a restrained sweetness but only moderate complexity and texture. Some green notes emerge with aeration."
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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 granted 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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