Venge Vineyards Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Powerful, ripe, complex and memorable. These words speak loudly of this rich and bold wine born from a quintessential Napa Valley vintage. From the first moments in the glass, this deep red Cabernet Sauvignon absolutely comes to life. The nose is layered with fragrances of ripe black cherry, integrated oak vanillin and a light dusting of black pepper spice. With a bit of time to open up, subtle layers of French barrel roast and es-presso mingle the nuances. Fresh and ripe fruit flavors of cherries, plums and currants lead the charge on the early palate attack. Typical of a young Oakville Cabernet, the structure and makeup is youthful but gives way to the pure red stone fruit flavors that make up the true heart and soul of this wine.
The Wine Advocate - "The outstanding 1998 Venge Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (285 cases) is more accessible and up-front than this cuvee tends to be in Napa's greatest vintages. There is an overlay of vanilla and heavy, spicy oak in this restrained, feminine effort. Venge's hallmark gorgeously sweet cassis fruit, is more accessible, without the volume and power of top years."
The Venge (ven-ghee) family has farmed vitis viniferra varieties in Napa Valley for nearly a half-century. It is a journey that began when Knud Venge migrated from Denmark to the United States in the early 1900’s. Knud's son, Per Venge, found his passion in the wine and spirits industry and started Vencom Imports, focusing on the importation of Western European fine wines and spirits. It was Per's son, Nils Venge, who left the family business in the 1960's with a vision to study viticulture at UC Davis and establish the family namesake as an icon within the winegrowing community. View all Venge Vineyards Wines
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 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 & 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