Cardinale Red Meritage 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2010 Cardinale reflects a vintage that challenged us and highlighted our dedication to producing a wine that defines the very best of Napa Valley in a way that impacts your palate like Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." The score is at once a classic of musical creation and a masterpiece with all of the subtly, grace and precision of a Mozart symphony, but with the charisma of complex Jazz. Following suit, the 2010 Cardinale is an intriguing combination of dark fruits and spices, opening with scents of ripe boysenberry and dark cherry that meld on the palate with holiday spices and Sumatra coffee bean flavors. The 2010 Cardinale has a lush, mid-body texture and a lingering finish.
Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot
The Wine Advocate - "Chris Carpenter has done a fabulous job with the 2010 Cardinale. The wine boasts a huge center of fruit backed up by equally firm, imposing tannins. Layers of dark red fruit, mocha, cinnamon and new leather explode from the glass. The 2010 is a huge Cardinale endowed with superb depth, power and richness. At the same time, there is a mid-palate generosity and pliancy that leads me to believe the 2010 will drink beautifully once the tannins soften a touch. Hints of tar, graphite and iron add personality on the full-bodied, intense finish. The 2010 is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, predominantly from mountain sites. The ability to blend fruit from various top-notch sites works great here. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030."
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright ruby-red. Refined, restrained, slightly medicinal aromas of cassis, licorice, herbs, lead pencil and coffee. Sweet, plush and energetic but youthfully reserved, with the medicinal quality carrying through on the palate. Most impressive today on the broad, slowly building finish, which features firm but very suave tannins and terrific lift. This may merit an even higher rating by the time it's released next fall.
Wine Spectator - "This is marked by appealing cream- and mocha-laced flavors, with a dash of espresso woven into the dense dried berry, loamy earth, cedar and tobacco notes. Maintains a tight focus and gains on the finish, though the tannins are dry and gripping. Best from 2014 through 2026."
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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
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.