Newton The Puzzle 2007
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc.
This opulent and opaque wine opens with delicate scents of dried flowers mingled with anise, black cherry, cassis and cedar aromas layered with dark fruit. The palate explodes with concentrated black fruit – cherry and plum – with hints of black licorice, spicy vanilla and dark chocolate powder accented by an appealing earthy, forest floor character. The firm structure and well-integrated tannins suggest this wine will reward careful cellaring.
The elegance and finesse of The Puzzle makes it an exceptional accompaniment to a lamb roast or Winemaker Chris Millard suggests savoring it with a nice aged Cheddar at the end of a meal.
Wine Enthusiast - "This Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend is very rich and elaborate, a major league hitter for its spectacular fruit and tannins. The flavors are deep and concentrated, suggesting perfectly ripened blackberries, cassis and milk chocolate, with a minerality that must come from the soil. It's also very soft, in the modern style."
International Wine Cellar - "(a blend of 56% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 8% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc): Good bright ruby. Aromas of plum, dried cherry, leather, dark chocolate, coffee and mocha. Sweet and broad, showing a strong oakiness to the flavors of cassis, leather, licorice, espresso and German chocolate cake. Offers a fine-grained texture but slightly edgy acidity and strong dusty, building tannins will require several years to harmonize. Today the $25 Claret is a lot more fun to drink. (A second sample of equal quality showed stronger oak spices but a somewhat mellower finish.)"
Newton Vineyard Winery
Peter and Su Hua Newton purchased one square mile of tumbling slopes high up on Spring Mountain overlooking St. Helena in 1977. The Estate was planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Merlot thrives in a land which is rocky mixed with clay beneath the surface, while Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot like an impoverished soil, and Cabernet Sauvignon is happy in stony loam. The mountainous slopes of the vineyards not only have these soils, but also a full range of exposures. Spring Mountain provides the vines get all the sunlight they need without any baking heat stress.
Chardonnay needs chalky or loamy soil in a cooler region. Newton owns an old vineyard in Carneros and also has long-term grape contracts for several hillside vineyards verging on that region. Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, introduced in 1990, is said to be the first unfiltered wine produced and sold in California, and is now regarded as an industry benchmark.
Su Hua insists on picking only ripe grapes from the vine. Her method of quality control is to be involved in every aspect of the harvest, during which time she can be found every day among the pickers. To ensure that only ripe grapes are harvested, there can be up to four separate pickings in a single vineyard - very difficult to do but, she believes, there is no other way to produce a great wine. View all Newton Vineyard 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review0 }div>
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.