The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2011
Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Cuttings combines the richness, complexity and depth of Cabernet with the structure and intensity of Petite Sirah and Syrah, all the while channeling the robust character of Zinfandel. Both the name and label were inspired by the age-old method of using cuttings from a vineyard to propagate new vines.
Powerful and structured, with intense aromas of ripe dark fruit, black cherry and subtle spicy notes of cedar and anise. The palette is rich and dense, with flavors of sweet plum and red berries and complimented with a hint of dark cocoa powder. Polished tannins and integrated French oak adorn a long silky finish.
Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Sirah, 15% Syrah, 5% Zinfandel
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Cuttings, with a whopping 15.4% natural alcohol, is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Petite Sirah and Syrah as well as a tiny dollop of Zinfandel. Juicy, deep and fruity, it is not complex, but satisfying on a hedonistic level. Medium to full-bodied and well-made, it coats the palate..."
The Prisoner Wine Company Winery
The Prisoner Founder and Winemaker Dave Phinney’s deep respect for the vineyards is rooted in an early attempt to make a sophisticated wine from a difficult site. Although he was frustrated by a situation that had him using every tool at his disposal and still coming up short, he learned lessons that inform his vineyard selection process now.
"I came away from that experience with the unshakable belief that if you put your emphasis on the vineyard, what follows is much easier," he says. "The vineyard is everything."
Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard.
"Sometimes one of these aspects is enough, other times it's a combination of a few of these elements," he says. "With provenance, looks can be deceiving, so you have to trust in the track record of a vineyard as opposed to what you see. Occasionally you step into a vineyard and can't get to your phone fast enough to call the grower and lock up the grapes. Those experiences are one of a kind." View all The Prisoner Wine Company 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 reviewelizabethblue2 - Chicago, IL511/1/2013
Had this at The Prisoner release party the other night in Chicago. It was truly stunning and outdid Zaldo and Prisoner. It was the highlight of everyone's night. Depth and complexity of a Napa cab, but with an added piquant bite of syrah and petite syrah. Long finish, impossible to stop sipping. A gorgeous, special wine.Related Products
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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.
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