Araujo Eisele Vineyard Syrah 1999
Syrah/Shiraz from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
Enormously complex and distinctive, this Syrah has aromas of blackberry, licorice, pomegranate, dark chocolate, smokedmeat, orange zest, potpourri and an exotic wild streak of toasted coconut. On the palate, a steely mineral exterior isintertwined with cassis, flowers and ripe plum. The ripe creamy tannins are mouth filling, silky smooth and sappy, andthe flavors linger on.
The Wine Advocate - "The 1999 Syrah Eisele Vineyard (a blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier) boasts an opaque ruby/purple color along with gorgeous, complex aromatics of melted asphalt, graphite, blackberry liqueur, coffee, and a hint of pepper. This full-bodied Syrah reveals surprising freshness, finesse, and elegance despite its size. The wine is long, rich, and French in style."
Wine Spectator - "Rich and intense, with complex, focused mineral, berry, leather, tobacco, white pepper and cedary notes. Concentrated, with a sense of elegance and polish."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Red-ruby. Flamboyant aromas of black raspberry, Cuban tobacco, animal fur, flint, mocha and tar. Very dense and intensely flavored, with firm but harmonious acidity giving shape to the flavors. Tight but sweet on the finish, with a note of graphite. The percentage of new oak has gone down steadily since the first vintage in 1994 and is now 50%. The wine's 6% viognier component serves 'to open the wine, to broaden it,' says winemaker Francoise Peschon."
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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 granted 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 unto 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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