Anthem Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
After considering over 100 applications from around the world, the proprietors selected Jeff Ames as Anthem's head winemaker. An explosive talent, Jeff has made some of California's most acclaimed wines over the last few years and has a long and brilliant career ahead of him.
In turning to John Truchard to manage the vineyards, Anthem got the rare combination of a skilled viticulturist, sound vineyard manager, successful winery owner and someone with firsthand knowledge of dozens of the area's top vineyards. John also knows Mt. Veeder -- a vastly rewarding, yet temperamental, AVA. Both Jeff and John are hardworking, no nonsense, low ego professionals -- the kind of guys you'd like to sit down with and have a glass of wine.
The winery's proprietors have consistently provided the team with very simple, yet important, guidance: let every decision made be solely guided by its impact on the quality of wine Anthem produces. Quality has trumped quantity at every turn, and the team has been free to produce without regard to cost, resources, marketing timetables or other extraneous factors. Anthem has left fruit from entire vineyard blocks on the vine, foregoing harvest completely because the grapes -- though serviceable -- did not develop to the winery's standards. The winery also has bulked off perfectly good wine to other producers simply because it was not great and may well do so again in the future.
This exacting focus on quality means that, for any given vintage, Anthem does not know how much wine it will actually release until several years after harvest. Those at Anthem do know that if the wine does find its way into bottle, and is passed from the team's hands to yours, it will be outstanding. A wine to be enjoyed with loved ones on special occasions.
Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.
Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.
The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.
Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.
Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.