Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
This could be the finest Vineyard 29 ever. The vineyard is situated north of St. Helena on the eastern-facing slope of Napa Valley, which subjects it to morning sunlight, and allows a slightly cooler afternoon exposure than much of the rest of the valley. Hence, the growing season is lengthened, and the vines are allowed to obtain maximum physiological ripeness. This results in a wine of complex layers and depth of flavor. The tannins of Vineyard 29 are soft and elegant, characteristic of the Grace Family clone used throughout the vineyard. This complements a rich black cherry and smoky leather nose, and lengthy, viscous mouth feel.
The Wine Advocate - "A gorgeous effort from proprietors Chuck and Anne McMinn, this grand cru vineyard situated north of St. Helena, in the sloping foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains has turned out a beautiful, complex, elegant, Chateau Margaux-like Cabernet Sauvignon. This youthful wine offers a dense ruby/purple color, notes of acacia flowers, blueberry and black currant fruit, full body and stunning finesse, charm, purity and equilibrium. The finish is long, fresh, lively and promising. "
International Wine Cellar - "Full ruby-red. Aromas of currant, plum, chocolate, black cherry, mint, mocha, licorice and herbs. Lush, rich and sweet, with a mouth-caressing texture but also noteworthy energy. Quite full and suave. The dusty, fine tannins arrive late, allowing the currant and lightly herbal flavors to open nicely on the back. Rather sophisticated cabernet, with plenty of structure for aging."
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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 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
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.