Sloan Proprietary Red 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
The Wine Advocate - "This vineyard, high above the Rutherford AVA, on the gorgeous hillside not far from the famed restaurant and hotel Auberge du Soleil, has produced a winner in my retrospective of 2005s. This is clearly a great terroir, and that comes through in this savory, broad, expansive, pure 2005 Proprietary Red from Sloan. Offering black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, silky tannins, notes of forest floor and spice box, and loamy soil undertones, the wine is dense, full-bodied, opulent, and just entering its plateau of maturity, where it should keep for another 15-20 years. This was one of the stunners in the great line-up that I tasted of 10-year-old North Coast Cabernet Sauvignons. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good full medium ruby. Knockout nose combines superripe black raspberry, minerals, tobacco and brown spices. Then wonderfully sweet and lush in the mouth, with an almost liqueur-like ripeness to the flavors of cassis, tobacco, chocolate, coffee and loam. As dense and thick as this is, though, it's also quite suave and juicy. Finishes with palate-staining sweetness of fruit and outstanding breadth."
Wine Spectator - "A bold, rich and ripe style, with complex black cherry, plum and wild berry fruit and a cedary graphite edge. Plush, concentrated and full-bodied, coating the palate, yet for all its size and chewiness this remains elegant, balanced and supported by firm tannins, showing a trace of heat on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot."
James Suckling - "Wonderful aromas of cedar, cigar box, currants, and dark berries. Nice notes of cappuccino, that open up to mint and flowers. Full bodied, with velvety tannins and fresh acidity. This is spicy and juicy, with generous fruit but held back. An exciting wine with a warm and juicy finish, and hints of tar. "
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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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