Lyeth L de Lyeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
Visual aspect: Crimson red
Nose: Delicious, complex hints of plum, cherry, blackberry and truffle.
Palate: Rich and concentrated with layers of juicy plum, black currant and coffee nuances. A gorgeous, medium-bodied wine that finishes with polished tannins allowing the ripe fruit flavors to show through.
Food Pairing: Grilled meats, leg of lamb, spare ribs and hard cheeses such as Parmigiano and Romano.
Established by Chip Lyeth in 1981, Lyeth was one of the first wineries in California to pursue the unique complexity and composition achieved by the marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon with the other major Bordeaux varieties, now known as the Meritage style. The term "Meritage" (pronouced like "heritage") is a combination of the words "merit" and "heritage".
Lyeth became a founding member of the Meritage Association in 1988, which created the Meritage concept as a means of identifying blends produced in the Bordeaux style. Today it continues the tradition of blending family and tradition in its wines, winning praise from critics and consumers worldwide.
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About Sonoma County
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable Facts 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 & 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.