Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Opaque ruby red core, with an intense nose of cocoa, red currants, blackberries and medjool dates. High tone notes of caramel complement a dark mineral underscore. On the palate, black cherry, dark chocolate, cedar and cinnamon explode with a dense, full mouthfeel. Elegant, velvety tannins are balanced by medium plus acidity, and rounded out by an extra long finish of sweet baking spices and dark fruit.
The Wine Advocate - "This wine has matured beautifully and seems to be close to that plateau where all the component parts have melded together, in this case rather effortlessly. Vinified and brought up by French winemaking consultant Philippe Melka, this wine, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their (at the time) tiny six-acre vineyard, produced less than 300 cases. Notes of charcoal, graphite, black currants, tobacco leaf and forest floor are all present in its complex aromatics. The color is a healthy dense ruby/purple and the wine medium to full-bodied, with beautiful intensity, purity and balance. This beauty, which is more in the elegant, feminine school of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, licorice and menthol. Lush, creamy and sweet, with harmonious acidity giving definition to the dense cassis and blackberry flavors. Finishes with serious, rich but fine tannins that arrive late. Only 275 cases were produced in 2002, as winemaker Philippe Melka was not thrilled with one of the lots of cabernet sauvignon. Beginning in 2004, this wine will include some cabernet franc, which was recently planted on warm soil at the top of the property, with a northern exposure. "
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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.