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Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WS95
  • RP94
0% ABV
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  • RP98
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  • WE96
  • WS95
  • RP97
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  • RP92
  • W&S92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Firm, tight and well-structured, with a medley of floral, spice and dried currant and a touch of herb and cedary oak. Well-integrated, focused and concentrated, with a long, deep, persistent finish. Will reward cellaring.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Despite having over 40-plus acres of vineyards in the northeasterly sector of Napa just south of Calistoga, the production at Araujo remains relatively limited, with the flagship wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, producing between 1,600 and 2,200 cases of wine, and the second wine, the Altagracia, between 800 and 1,200 cases. Add to that another 1,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc and 300-400 cases of Syrah, and there is just not a lot to go around given the greatness that can be achieved from this vineyard. Much of the credit has to go to proprietors Bart and Daphne Araujo and, of course, their top-notch winemaking team, which has always been led by Francoise Peschon. Araujo’s second wines are among the finest second wines consumers will find in northern California. For example, the Altagracia cuvees, which represent 25-35% of the production, have been outstanding examples of Cabernet Sauvignon. Araujo has done an excellent job with Syrah, which they typically co-ferment with 3-4% Viognier. Sadly, only 300-400 cases are produced.

94+ Points

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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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

RHY127689_2004 Item# 127689