Cardinale Red Meritage 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Cardinale is more than one wine - it is several wines from disparate mountain and benchland vineyards along the Mayacamas and Vaca ranges that surround Napa Valley. Every bottle reveals the artistic sensibility of the winemaker, each vineyard lot fused into a seamless blend in which you can sense the constituent parts, but still taste them as one wine. Our philosophy is guided by the pursuit of grape selectivity in the vineyard, gentle handling and the ability to accommodate the different winemaking needs of each vintage.
"In the late 1980's an elite group of musicians called The Traveling Wilburys was formed. It consisted of musicians like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Roy Orbison. Each were legends in their own right, yet together they formed a band that layered the musicians' individual sounds and created a harmony that spoke to the times. Cardinale mirrors that unique fusion in a wine as the 2006 captures and harmonizes the expressive tones of each vineyard source. The expansive aromatic comes through first with Mt. Veeder's dark fruit and minerality followed by Howell Mountain freshly brewed French roast and a hint of Stag's Leap cassis. The palate conveys the floral tones of Spring Mountain, the lushness of Oakville's To Kalon and the backbone of Mt. Veeder." Christopher Carpenter, Cardinale Winemaker
Wine Enthusiast - "Tasted in a flight of great and famous Napa wines, this cardinale stood at the head of the pack. Starts with a very fine nose of cedar, cassis, ripe blackberries and violets, then turns dramatic and refined in the mouth. Shows vast depth and length, with the finish a full minute of sweet fruits and spices. Marvelous tannins, so plush and elegant, so powerful yet refined. The grapes hail from Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Oakville, and the blend contains 14% Merlot. As good as it is now, it will improve for at least eight years. Cellar Selection."
The Wine Advocate - "A sumptuous bouquet of cedarwood, black cherries, black currants, licorice, and wet rocks/crushed stones give way to a broad, opulent, fleshy wine offering sweet tannin, abundant quantities of sexy, ripe fruit, a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel, and a velvety finish. This is an atypically sumptuous 2006 that should drink well for 15-20 years. Kudos to winemaker Christopher Carpenter for this brilliant effort."
In 1983, Jess Jackson, proprietor of Kendall-Jackson Winery, decided to produce a world-class red Meritage wine. The name comes from the original Cardinale vineyard site at Kendall-Jackson's Lakeport winery. The wine is made predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with small amounts of Merlot and, in certain years, Cabernet Franc. Grapes are harvested from hillside vineyards located in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak Chateau barrels to produce a forward, seamless oak character to match its intense fruit. View all Cardinale 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
- 5 Stars: