Lewis Cellars Mason's Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Now 10 years old Mason has joined the ranks of his double-digit brothers. It's not always easy being the youngest kid but this 2011 Mason's Cabernet has plenty of two-fisted punch. Lots of sweet and savory oak spices enter the ring first with a burst of ripe cherry-berry fruit that is laced with chocolate and a little licorice. Like Mason himself, the wine has a compact build with enough muscle and youthful tannin to ensure it keeps up with his brothers' bottlings.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "There is little question but that the 2011 vintage is one in which careful selection will go a long way, but, as in every year, there will still be good Cabernets to be had, and this one from Lewis proves that point. It musters far more richness and sheer fruity muscle than the admittedly less-pricey 2011s that are debuted in this issue, and the winery's predilection for high ripeness and substance cannot go unnoticed. It is big, very big, but with its size comes a clear theme of currants, and it is dressed up with plenty of very sweet oak. It is unconcerned with finesse now, and it may never be, but it will never be faulted for being timid or at all underfilled. "
Lewis Cellars Winery
Former Indy Car driver Randy Lewis and his wife Debbie started Lewis Cellars in 1992. They are truly "Driven... to create world-class wines." Along with their son, Dennis, they are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution. They thrive on the challenges and the relationships cultivated in the process. It is their continuing goal to greate small lots of exciting and unique Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. View all Lewis Cellars 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 & 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.