Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus 2014
The 2014 growing season was very similar to 2013. The drought, combined with a mild winter and spring, caused an early bud break. However, the overall length of the growing season was similar to past years. The lack of rain did not impact our fruit due to moderate temperatures throughout the growing season and the grapes ripened evenly. While news of the drought dominated conversations, there was an upside, the grapes had rich, concentrated flavors, much like the 2013 vintage. After harvest each lot was fermented and aged separately for 12 months, blended to showcase the vintage, then aged for an additional 12 months in French oak barrels to meld the flavors. Additional bottle aging resulted in a seamless blend. The 2014 has dark purple color and layered, earthy aromas of cassis, black cherry, chocolate, and cherry along with hints of toasty oak and vanilla. This is a silky wine with flavors of cassis, dark chocolate, dark fruits, dusty cherry, and a hint of cedar. The 2014 CYRUS boasts smooth texture, excellent balance and a long structured finish. As this wine sits in the glass it just keeps building on itself, hinting at the complexity that will occur with additional cellar aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2014 Cyrus is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby, it opens with tons of chocolate-cherry aromas accented by graphite, old leather, dried herbs, cedar, bay leaf, soil and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, it's hinting at tertiary character, the fruits beginning to transform, with firm, chewy tannins and a long, refreshing finish. 2,807 cases produced.
History, tradition, and excellence. Those three words easily describe Alexander Valley Vineyards. In the mid-1800s valley namesake Cyrus Alexander called the land that is home to AVV as "the brightest and best spot in the world." He settled, built his home, and raised his family. In 1962 the Wetzel Family followed his lead, continuing a tradition of family farming. Today the fourth generation of their family is growing up next door to the working winery known around the world as "AVV."
The Wetzel Family Estate spans over 720 acres with vineyards on both sides of the Russian River, from the valley floor up to the Mayacamas mountains. In between there is a wide diversity of micro-climates, elevations, exposures, and soil types. The Russian River defines this land with foggy mornings, warm days, and diurnal temperature swings of 40 to 50 degrees. Their estate vineyards combined with veteran winemaker Kevin Hall's classic winemaking techniques maximize the balance of fruit and acidity in every wine. Barrel aging in their underground wine caves accentuates the wine's character. Every bottle shares AVV's story and each glass brings the special place they call home to yours.
While AVV is well known for their elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, they also produce an array of estate wines including Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and their premium Cab blend – CYRUS. The secret to the quality and value in their hand-crafted wines starts with their initial property purchase in 1962 and continues with their commitment to their land.
Alexander Valley Vineyard's practices were initially recognized by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance in March 2006 and in 2010 they were recognized as a certified "Sonoma Green Business." Their motto says it all: "Our family creates wines of distinction for everyone!"
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.