Jarvis Cave Fermented Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Vintage 1996 began early in the Napa Valley with a wetter than normal winter, an early bud break, and ended with some very hot late-summer temperatures. High in the eastern mountains, at JARVIS, the cool breezes from the Bay Area helped to moderate these high summer temperatures giving us a nearly perfect year for Cabernet Sauvignon. Dimitri Tchelistcheff, our winemaker, was keeping constant watch on the vineyards as brix levels all seemed to peak at once making 1996 the quickest Cabernet Sauvignon harvest in JARVIS history. Yields for this great vintage were slightly lower than average for us. The 1996 JARVIS Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Barrel aged in new French oak barrels for 2 years, the intense berry richness of this wine is complimented by a beautiful toasty aroma. The rich concentrated fruit of this spectacular wine shows incredible elegance in its long finish. Just after fermentation this wine received an extended period of skin contact, which moderated the tannin so as to make this wine very drinkable now, and with proper cellaring, this wine will continue to develop beautifully for the next 15 years.
Alcohol: 14% by volume
The Jarvis Estate vineyards are located in the rugged hillside, four miles east of downtown Napa Valley. Its winemaking facility is entirely contained within 45,000 square feet of cave tunneled into the scenic Vaca Mountains; it is not only a visual masterpiece, but a technical masterpiece as well. Wines are produced only from estate grown grapes and are cave-aged on 100% new French oak prior to release.
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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 Facts Within 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.
It'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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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.