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Antica Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Antica is an Antinori Family estate in Napa Valley. The family's winemaking heritage dates back 26 generations and more than 600 years in Italy. 'Antica' represents Antinori California, and fulfills the family's longstanding desire to produce wines with personalityand style in Napa Valley. The estate is located in a high elevation valley in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. It is the Antinori Family's belief that the high elevations, hilly terrain, and rocky soils of the estate are ideal for winegrowing.
About the Vineyard:
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested from nine individual vineyard blocks, divided between five distinct clones. The estate's Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are planted up to an elevation of 1,800 feet allowing excellent air movement in the well-drained, volcanic soils.
About the 2009 Vintage:
Temperatures throughout the winter months were mild with below normal rainfall, marking a third consecutive year of drought conditions for Napa Valley. A dry spring with slightly higher temperatures than normal provided excellent weather conditions forfl owering and uniform fruit set. Dry conditions prevailed throughout the summer and early fall. Warm daytime temperatures along with cool night time temperatures into the autumn months assured healthy and completely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes rich in winemaking potential.
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon comes across as a bit more reticent and inward next to the superb 2008, but it, too, is a gorgeous wine. Dark red fruit, licorice, smoke and tar are some of the nuances that flow from this layered, gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 was bottled just two months ago. It will almost certainly be even better in a few years’ time. A mid-weight, gracious wine, the 2009 should drink well to age 20 or so. In 2009 the blend includes 1.5% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.
The wine's Atlas Peak tannins are softer and gentler than you might expect, its structure benefiting from the acidity of the fruit. That comes across in green herb scents refreshing the plush, rip plum flavors. It's generous and open, easy to enjoy with roast lamb.
Napa Valley has a special place in Marchese Piero Antinori's heart beginning with his first visit in 1966, having the free spirit coming from a new frontier, a wonderful history, and the potential to produce world-class wines.
The wine estate is located on a high plain in the eastern mountains of the celebrated Napa Valley. Its hilly terrain, rocky soils, high elevations and beautiful landscape create above all an estate ideal for winegrowing.
An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.
South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.
Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.
In the Glass
Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.
Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.
There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.