Paramount is exemplary of Napa at its finest. This premier red is a bold blend of fruit from several distinguished Napa Valley vineyards. These sites have been chosen as they have historically produced exceptional grapes, all unique and expressive of their particular place within the valley. At the core of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon from both mountainside (Diamond Mtn) and the Family Home knoll-top (Oakville); Merlot comes from the Mayacamas foothills behind St. Helena; Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from the slopes of Spring Mountain. Outstanding as these wines are alone, judiciously blended they come together to create a wine much greater than the sum of its parts.
The rich aromas of graham cracker and toasted walnut mingle with game, plum, cola and black olive. A strong line of acidity helps to keep the rich palate in balance and supports both the juicy red fruits and the dark smoky flavors. Blackberry, tar and black licorice linger on the persistent finish. Paramount is a full bodied, well structured wine bursting with layer upon layer of flavor. Enjoy the long satisfying finish. Once opened the wine will evolve and give enjoyment for many hours. It will continue to develop in the bottle over the next 3-5 years. Enjoy with red meats (especially steaks), lamb and hard cheeses.
Source Napa Winery
At Source Napa, they make wines that are true to the vineyard – true to the source. Their natural farming philosophy promotes soil and vine balance to achieve pure fruit expression. Their winemaking emphasizes micro-lot fermentation, gentle handling and thoughtful blending. They favor low yields, native yeast and minimal filtration to honor the character of the source. Their history and their wines are rooted in Napa. Source Napa is the essence of this.
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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 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.
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.
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.