Araujo Altagracia 2003
The 2003 Altagrácia expresses the vibrancy of our younger Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines, blended with estate Petit Verdot and Merlot. The second cabernet of the estate, it is a serious, full-bodied wine with opulent fruit and seamless tannins. It exhibits a beautiful bouquet of black currants, blackberries and cherry jam, spiced with perfumed sandalwood, licorice and sassafras. Notes winemaker Francoise Peschon: 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.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.