Sailor's Grave Red Blend 2010
Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The aromas are well-defined with concentrated cassis and ripe black cherry, backed by mocha and toasted vanilla notes. On the palate, this full-bodied tannic Cabernet-based blend has a firm mid-palate presence and loast of cellar-worthy potential. As the spectrum of flavors unfolds, the huckleberry and raspberry give way to a complex mocha, coffee, vanilla matrix - all balanced under the fruit notes, giving the wine a tingly and silky finish. This is a serious wine - a truly wonderful splurge.
Try it with a mushroom-encrusted filet mignon served with sun-dried tomato compote and a side of roasted blue potatoes with sea salt. This wine, when cellared properly, will drink well through 2030.
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah, 2% Merlot, 2% Malbec
Tasting Panel - "With a pedigree of Howell Mountain and Oakville fruit, this Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Malbec blend is barrel-aged for 20 months and given one year in bottle. From the first sip, it rockets to its high and mighty purpleness, a violet-stained black cherry and maple toastiness. Grainy tannins are licked by raspberry and espresso—it's big and waiting to evolve."
Sailor's Grave Winery
Michael Pozzan and Richard Bruno, of Michael Possan Wines, are the minds behind Sailor's Grave. Highly respected in the world of wine, Michael has dedicated himself to producing high-quality Napa and Sonoma Valley wines in the Italian style of his heritage: wines of rich fruit, excellent character and exceptional value. Richard Bruno decided to put a semiprofessional soccer career on hold in order to pursue his own passionate interest in wine. A well-played career move, Bruno now has 20 years of successful winemaking endeavors under his belt. Together, they have produced this intensely evocative Napa Valley blend. With a small case production of 900, 2010 was the first vintage.
Sailor's Grave is an ode to Michael's late grandfather who was an ex first officer in the Merchant Marines, a former staff member of the Sailor's Union in Oakland, CA in the late 1940's and a tattoo enthusiast. "Sailor's Grave" was a common tattoo around that time for seamen depicting a ship sinking below the image of an Eagle with the American flag. The label incorporates his own tattoos as well as his initials "BP" and his birth and death dates in roman numerals on his arms. The nurses represent "The Rose of No Man's Land" an ode to nurses that help the wounded on the battlefield during WWII and represent life and death on an open and unforgiving sea View all Sailor's Grave 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 & 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.