Star Lane Vineyards Astral Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon from Central Coast, California
In every vineyard, there exist select parcels of land that yield exceptional quality. Since arriving at Star Lane, winemaker Nick de Luca has consistently observed this special nature in three vineyard parcels—blocks 24, 25 and 29. Not surprisingly, they are all contiguous and located along the ridgeline at the highest elevations in the vineyard which surpass 1,500 feet at the pinnacle.These parcels form the nucleus of Star Lane's reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Astrale, a Latin-based word that means, "Pertaining to or proceeding from the stars."
The 2005 Star Lane Astrale Cabernet Sauvignon shows immense concentration, with huge, lush tannins that frame tightly layered cassis, blackberry, plum, coffee, chocolate, spice, vanilla and smoke flavors. Sporting a suppleness that belies its youth, the wine is drinking beautifully now. but we suspect it will offer collectors many years of pleasure to come.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "A few issues back, Star Lane's basic Cabernet earned glowing praise, and this, its fancier sibling, does the same. Big, optimally ripened and positively plush on the palate, it delivers a wealth of luscious, curranty fruit with the sweet, vanilla-bean trappings of first-rate oak making it all the more enticing. It is so fruity that its late-arriving tannins come as a surprise reminder that it is still very young, and a better wine will yet await the collector who can exercise five years of patience."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Sexy aromas of cherry pie and dark berry compote, with notes of incense, pipe tobacco and potpourri adding complexity. Pliant, deeply concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors are framed by gentle tannins and pick up exotic fruitcake and cinnamon notes with air. At once rich and energetic, with strong finishing sweetness and an echo of candied flowers. "
Wine Spectator - "Ripe, plush plum, spice, currant and mineral flavors are fleshy and intense, with wonderfully velvety tannins and a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2014. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This might be the most expensive Cab ever from Santa Barbara County. It’s certainly a serious wine, full-bodied and rich, with the finely ground tannins you find in Napa Valley. The flavors aren’t bad either, all about cassis, cherries, chocolate and cedar. Yet there’s an herbaceousness that calls to mind old-style Santa Ynez Cabs. Seems best now and for a few years."
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Star Lane Vineyards
Star Lane Vineyard, located at the far eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley, is both the warmest and the highest elevation vineyard in the appellation. Backing up to the lower slopes of the San Rafael Mountains, which loom high above the ranch, Star Lane unfolds itself in its own pristine valley. Traveling 22 degrees North by North East the Star Lane vineyard blocks climb from the canyon floor to the benchlands above and, ultimately to the highest mountain tops sites-each area contributing a unique element to the resulting wines. View all Star Lane Vineyards Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
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 & 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.