Armida Scharf Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
For over 25 years brothers Steve and Bruce Cousins have crafted terroir-driven single-vineyard wines from some of Sonoma’s most iconic vineyards including Maple Vineyard, Gap’s Crown, Durell, Parmelee-Hill, and Castelli-Knight. Recently they’ve added Chalone Vineyards Chardonnay and Point Noir from this storied vineyard, the only one in the Chalone AVA at the base of an extinct volcano bordering the Pinnacles National Park. Armida also produces a number of unique offering including Domus Alba (their Sauvignon-Semillion homage to white Bordeaux), Tina’s Block Zinfandel (from an ancient block in Maple Vineyard planted in 1910) and POIZIN, “The Wine to Die For.”
Working with Winemaker Brandon Lapides, Steve and Bruce strive to produce wines that express their provenance, the unique combination of flavors and texture from each different vineyard. The wine making approach is minimalist as the grapes are simply guided in a natural process (picking, fermentation, racking), remarkably unchanged in thousands of years, and resulting in intense, flavorful and complex wines.
While Sonoma County is acclaimed—and rightfully so—for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Zinfandels, it also produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the region’s 18 American Viticultural Areas, only a handful produce top-notch Cabernet Sauvignon. These appellations include Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignons made in these appellations can offer a complex array of aromas and flavors. Fruit notes such as blackberry, blackcurrant, cassis, black cherry and raspberry often are accompanied by hints of graphite, dusty earth, cigar box, toast and vanilla. The varietal has a rich history in Sonoma, and some of these Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet-based blends rival the best from Napa Valley.