Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Quintessa 2006 opens with sweet and inviting aromas of bright black fruit with red fruit undertones. It announces itself dramatically with a full lush entry, developing into a broad, rich and enrobing wine that coats the mouth with rich black fruit laced with a touch of mocha, licorice, sandalwood and vanilla spice. With tremendous density, concentration and ample fine tannins, this vintage is full and dramatic early and will age gracefully.
Wine Enthusiast - "A big, powerful wine. Shows classic Quintessa ripeness and density, with focused black cherry, currant, mocha, violet and cedar flavors articulated by firm tannins. Bone dry, this wine, from the winery's hilly estate vineyard in the northeast quadrant of Rutherford, will develop beyond 2012."
The Wine News - "Dense inky-purple hue. Reserved scents of black cherry and cassis with a hint of iodine. Ripe flavors of black cherry and raspberry. Dominant tannins and hints of pencil lead and leather accent the lingering close."
Wine & Spirits - "This vintage of Quintessa is savory and dark, yielding little beyond the sense of compressed black-cherry skins, a tannic character that melds with saline minerality. The edges of the structure are perceptible, but not what fills them in. This needs several years of bottle age to show itself more completely; it should develop well over the next six to eight years."
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In the northeastern corner of Rutherfod lies Quintessa. The estate is one of the most scenic and geographically unique properties of the Napa Valley. When Agustin and Valeria Huneeus began to develop the property as a vineyard in 1990, they availed themselves of the most advanced viticultural research of the time. Valeria Huneeus, in keeping with her vision as steward of this land, has guided Quintessa's evolution from sustainable farming in 1990 to organic farming in 1995 and to biodynamic farming in 2000. The winery at Quintessa was built into one of the property's many hills. Its eco-sensitive design incorporates gravity flow, French oak and stainless steel fermenters specifically tailored to the diverse blocks of the Quintessa vineyard, and naturally cold caves. View all Quintessa 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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1 rating, 1 with reviewRon Graeff - Ottumwa, IA512/25/2009Like any good cabernet, the aroma is of rich dark fruits. But this truly is memorable on the palate with a rush of blackberry and tart apple and a hint of smoky vanilla This wine will age admirably and is worth every penny. Just two days ago I reviewed a 2003 Silver Oak which I rated a 5/5 but the Quintessa exceeds my wildest expectations and I would move the Silver Oak to a 4.7/5. I can't wait to be reacquainted with the Quintessa 2006 vintage year after year.
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.
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