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Araujo Altagracia 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
15.4% ABV
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • JS91
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • RP89
  • WS90
  • RP90
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15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot produced a sophisticated wine of deep color and smooth, silky tannins. Its rich cassis flavors and clean, long-lasting mineral structure give it a distinctive balance and harmony. It is ready to drink now, but will easily age for many years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Araujo's second wine, Altagracia, is almost too good to be true. There are 750 cases of the 2003 Altagracia, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. It is much more fruit-forward than its bigger sibling, but definitely displays the Eisele Vineyard style in its deep purple color, sweet nose of flowers, crushed rocks, blueberries, creme de cassis, and earth, super-sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, and opulent personality. This gorgeous wine should drink well for 10-15 years, perhaps longer.
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Araujo

Araujo

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Araujo, Napa Valley, California
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Since 1971, some of California's most ageworthy and intensely-flavored Cabernet Sauvignons have been made from grapes grown at the Eisele Vineyard, located on a benchland near the northern end of Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga. Protected by the Palisades Mountains to the north and cooled by westerly breezes from the Chalk Hill Gap, this 38-acre vineyard is planted on warm cobbly soils that produce a low-yielding crop of exceptionally concentrated fruit. Bart and Daphne Araujo acquired the Eisele Vineyard in 1990, and committed to producing only wines of the highest caliber and distinction. Araujo Estate produces 4 wines each vintage: Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, Altagracia, Syrah Eisele Vineyard and Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

KBRARAUJOALTA_2003 Item# 117958