Quintessa (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Quintessa, like all classic wines of the world, bears the same name as the vineyard from which it is made. Our goal is to produce the best expression of this extraordinary vineyard each year. In broad terms, Quintessa is a red meritage wine. The vineyard's diversity provides us wide stylistic options for the wine. Fruit from each component block of Quintessa is harvested, sorted, then gravity fed into either oak or stainless steel fermentation tanks. Once fermentation and maceration are complete, each block wine is aged separately for up to two years in french oak barrels in our caves. After this ageing period the components are brought together and the final Quintessa blend is created. The wine is then bottled and laid down for yet another year before release. Although each vintage is unique, we have discovered that finesse and elegance best express the character of the vineyard and as such, we blend for harmony, balance, and length of flavors. Above all, our objective is to make Quintessa a delicious wine that is complementary to food.
The bouquet of this wine is a rich mélange of floral and black fruits. A delicate brush stroke from Titian, the accent is on opulence tempered by finesse. A bold attack, that astonishes with its richness, and then a seamless segue to an ultra ripe, integrated and well textured mid-palette. A brooding monolithic mass of bold velvet robed tannins, the assurance of graceful aging leading to a finish that lingers and flirts endlessly. The paragon of the Quintessa Vineyard.
Wine Enthusiast - "e best Quintessa in years, this huge, rich wine is really too young now. All the parts are beautiful, from the ripe, sweet cherry-blackberry fruit through the fine, dusty tannins to the lush overlay of vanilla-scented oak."
The Wine Advocate - "A 9,500-case blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2002 Proprietary Red Wine boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as lovely scents of flowers, plums, black currants, and notions of cherries, earthy/loamy soil, and tobacco leaf. Clearly the richest Quintessa to date, it is medium to full-bodied, with a seamless integration of wood, tannin, and acidity.
Wine & Spirits - "Sarah Gott made this wine at the Huneeus estate on the Silverado Trail just north of Rutherford. The wine has consistently been more about elegance than power or size, and this vintage follows in that path, offering a lot of presence without a lot of weight. That allows the texture to feel luscious and rich without feeling heavy. The fruit flavors range from juicy black cherry to riper plum, as well as an edge of super-ripeness that one taster compared to a ripasso wine."
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In the northeastern corner of Rutherfod lies Quintessa. The estate is one of the most scenic and geographically unique properties of the Napa Valley. When Agustin and Valeria Huneeus began to develop the property as a vineyard in 1990, they availed themselves of the most advanced viticultural research of the time. Valeria Huneeus, in keeping with her vision as steward of this land, has guided Quintessa's evolution from sustainable farming in 1990 to organic farming in 1995 and to biodynamic farming in 2000. The winery at Quintessa was built into one of the property's many hills. Its eco-sensitive design incorporates gravity flow, French oak and stainless steel fermenters specifically tailored to the diverse blocks of the Quintessa vineyard, and naturally cold caves. View all Quintessa 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.