Atlas Peak Claret 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The Atlas Peak Mountain Series are limited production wines that showcase the best of the prestigious Napa Valley Mountain Appellations: Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain and Spring Mountain District. Mountain top vineyards have poorer soils and better drainage, which stresses the vines, thereby producing smaller berries with a greater skin to juice ratio. Grapes grown at high elevation, above the natural fog line, experience lower daytime temperatures than those on the valley floor, allowing them to stay cool while gaining maximum sun exposure. These wines are handcrafted by our winemaker to make more intense, more structured and age worthy wines.
The Atlas Peak 2005 Claret is an intricate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc that combines power, structure and elegance. The 2005 Claret is quite possibly the best edition we have produced thus far. Its inky dark color, luscious blueberry and ripe cherry fruit, plush mouthfeel and bold tannins will reward cellaring. This wine pairs beautifully with Steak au Poivre and roasted red potatoes.
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 12% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc
Wine Enthusiast - "Very sweet in fruit and refined in texture, a softly gentle wine to enjoy now and over the next six years. Shows lots of blackberry, cherry, orange zest, licorice and sandalwood flavors, wrapped into rich, silky tannins."
Atlas Peak Winery
Atlas Peak was established in 1987. Over time it became clear that Atlas Peak's most valuable hidden resource was literally underfoot: the elevation of its vineyards. The grapes growing at high elevation, and above the natural fog line, experience much lower daytime temperatures than those on the valley floor, allowing the grapes to stay cool while gaining maximum sun exposure. As a result, growers up on the mountain can afford to harvest later and pick for flavor with less worry about over ripening and excessive alcohol. No grape develops as well in mountain conditions as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Atlas Peak crafts Napa Valley mountain appellation Cabernet Sauvignon from such prestigious areas as Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain District and Mount Veeder, in addition to Atlas Peak. Atlas Peak’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines are driven by an appreciation of mountain-grown fruit and winemaking techniques that capture the distinct flavors derived from the mountain appellations in which they are grown. View all Atlas Peak Winery Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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.
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