Ristow Estate Quinta de Pedras Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine exhibits concentrated black ruby color with a brilliant deep purple rim. Intense aromas of ripe black cherries, deep red rose, spice and sweet vanilla are just a small introduction to the flavors. On the palate, luscious ripe fruit builds to a bright round center filled with blueberry, black cherry, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. An exotic spice and mineral quality reveals itself in the nose and palate and imprints the unique component from the Quinta de Pedras vineyard. A well integrated structure allows the complex flavors to unfold through the lengthy seamless finish. An elegant and concentrated wine definitely worthy of aging.
Ristow Estate Winery
Ristow Estate is located in the eastern hills of Napa Valley between Silverado Trail and Soda Canyon Road, a few hundred yards south of the Stag¹s Leap District. When we first thought about planting a vineyard on this property specialists believed it was an impossible venture because of the exceedingly rocky terrain. After extensive soil testing, it was then determined the terroir would provide an ideal setting for Cabernet Sauvignon; a location which would compel the vines to struggle for nutrients, therefore producing intensive fruit. In 1989, heavy machinery broke and cleared the rocks from nine acres and Block I was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.
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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.
Within 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.
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 & 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.