Acumen Mountainside Red 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Acumen has emerged as the embodiment of a dream to share with friends and family the very best of the Old and New Worlds, a dream where world-class winemaking and viticulture combine with a deep love of the land.
The founding Acumen team of winemaker Denis Malbec and viticulturists Garrett Buckland were drawn to the mountainside vineyards of Napa Valley's eastern slopes, which have created countless world-class wines. It was here in the rugged Atlas Peak AVA where they set their roots in two unique vineyards with a total of 116 organically farmed acres. The Acumen labels share a glimpse of the inspiring views from their vineyards, both of which have an Old World feel, with bucolic rolling hills and textured rows of mountainside grapevines, surrounded by chaparral and sagebrush.
Denis Malbec, a winemaking artist, inspiration and good friend, was born and raised amidst the vineyars and cellar of Chateau Latour, a Bordeaux First Growth in the Pauillac commune of the Medoc. He was Acumen's first winemaker and together with Henrik Poulsen made the Acumen wines through the 2015 vintage. Tragically, in early 2016 he passed away in a car accident. He will be greatly missed and warmly remembered, with the 2013 and 2014 Acumen PEAK wines to bear a subtle tribute on the label in his honor.
Acumen lives their belief that the world's best wine are grown in the vineyard, so they feel very fortunate to have their vineyards and winemaking so thoroughly united under the artistry and expertise of Henrik Poulsen and supported by their amazing full-time vineyard and winemaking team.
Every glass of Acumen is an invitation to share in their dream, to be transported to the vineyards, to feel the sun and smell the earth, to taste the best that Napa Valley has to offer.
Just northeast of Napa city, Atlas Peak boasts some of Napa Valley’s highest elevation vineyards. Here the intense sunlight coupled with cool, nighttime temperatures produce grapes that are perfectly ripe, balanced and concentrated. The appellation is rich in volcanic soils and excels in the production of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.