Deep ruby red that darkens with aeration. Great aromatic complexity with red and black cherry, cassis and earthier notes of tar, leather and roasted coffee. The palate is immediately supple and juicy with sweet briary jam and then darkens to show layered black fruits and chocolate. The mid palate is rich and full and the soft tannins allow the breadth of the wine to gradually unfold across the palate, leading to a pleasant grip on the finish.
Delicious and approachable on release, this Cabernet Sauvignon will continue to gain weight and complexity with 4 to 6 years in the bottle.
We suggest decanting for an hour in its youth to allow the wine's rich generosity and vineyard complexity to be fully expressed.
Larkmead Vineyards dates back to the late 1800s, and have been owned by the Solari family since 1948. The historic Larkmead Estate is comprised of 145 acres. Due to the dramatic variation in soil types, the vineyard is divided into three distinct areas in order to maximize fruit and subsequent wine quality while diversifying flavor profiles for blending purposes. The true character of Larkmead and its unique wines are a direct result of the topography, climate, and the exceptional geology of the soils.
Larkmead is 100% Estate fruit; it is therefore imperative to them that they treat the land as a polyculture system with all factors interrelated and focus on long term soil health. They are always seeking environmentally sound, long term solutions that promote the natural expression of their vineyards, resulting in wine that is unique in its purity, texture, and complexity.
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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.
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 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.
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 & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.