Rivers-Marie Panek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Our part of the Panek site is a 2.5 acre parcel just north of Turley Winery and just south of Aida Vineyard in St Helena. It's old riverbed ground so it drains well with a strong streak of gravel shot through the black, loamy soil. The 2009 bottling consists of equal parts clones 6 and 7. This is the most classic of our three wines in this release. The pure fruit driven nose consists of sweet tobacco, purple fruits, white flowers and blackcurrants. The clone 7 component in the wine definitely adds this fruit sweetness which is in turn buffered by the more structured, higher acid, soil driven elements of the 6. Clone 6 on the valley floor can act a bit like a hillside addition with its tiny berries and thick skins and in this wine it makes for an interesting texture. The mineral notes that frame the finish give the wine length with just enough apparent acidity to add freshness.
Wine Spectator - "A gorgeous, graceful effort, rich, smooth and layered, showing complex spice, dark berry and floral scents, with a long, supple and focused finish and silky smooth tannins."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard is graced with exquisite finesse and silkiness in its red fruit and sweet tannin. Layers of seamless fruit caress the palate in this stunning Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 Panek is subtle, understated and totally classy. The Panek is clone 6 and 7 Cabernet, aged in 80% new barrels."
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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 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.