Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
This deeply pigmented wine exudes earthy notes of crème de cassis, nutmeg, vanilla and violets. It fills the mouth with seemingly infinite layers of cassis, blackberries, truffles, roasted coffee and hints of forest floor, with lingering notes of mineral, cloves and roasted almonds. The tannins are full, rich and supple. Winemaker Francoise Peschon notes: This wine combines rich concentrated flavors with an acid structure reminiscent of a fine Bordeaux. It is a seamless wine possessing superb grip, fine velvety tannins, and weight without heaviness. A substantial wine now, its balance promises years of aging potential in a manner of the classic Eisele cabernets.
Wine Spectator - "Rich, earthy, decadent aromas are intense and enormously concentrated, with sharply focused, currant, pencil lead, mineral, sage and dusty berry flavors that offer uncommon depth and concentration. Finishes with an amazingly long and detailed aftertaste. Should be a 20-year wine, with ease."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard (a 1,750-case blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot) boasts explosive aromas of incense, creme de cassis, minerals, and flowers. It is medium to full-bodied, with great harmony, and a sweet attack as well as finish. This is a classic example of power and richness allied to considerable elegance. Those in the foreign press who accuse California of being incapable of producing elegant wines have obviously never tasted this Cabernet. Anticipated maturity: now-2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium ruby. Highly nuanced nose combines black raspberry, coffee, mocha, leather and smoky oak. Lush, dense and sexy, with terrific depth of black raspberry, smoke, game and leather flavors sweetened by the 85% new oak. Still quite tightly coiled, in the style of the best '99s, with firm acids and superb persistence. May ultimately merit an even higher rating. The berries were small due to rain during flowering, said Araujo, with the result that the yield in '99 was much lower than that of '97.
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Since 1971, some of California's most ageworthy and intensely-flavored Cabernet Sauvignons have been made from grapes grown at the Eisele Vineyard, located on a benchland near the northern end of Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga. Protected by the Palisades Mountains to the north and cooled by westerly breezes from the Chalk Hill Gap, this 38-acre vineyard is planted on warm cobbly soils that produce a low-yielding crop of exceptionally concentrated fruit. Bart and Daphne Araujo acquired the Eisele Vineyard in 1990, and committed to producing only wines of the highest caliber and distinction. Araujo Estate produces 4 wines each vintage: Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, Altagracia, Syrah Eisele Vineyard and Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard. View all Araujo 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
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.